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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

Trying to Enlist. 

Page 9. 







67 Fifth Avenue, 



Copyrighted, 1894, 





I. Harry and Jack — Outbreak of the War — Trying to 

Enlist 5 

II. St. Louis and Camp Jackson 12 

III. Secession Ideas of Neutrality 19 

IV. On the Koad to Glory 26 

V. On tlie March — Captuiing a Rebel Flag 33 

VI. Marching and Camping in the Kain — First Shots at 

the Enemy 39 

VII. From Jefferson to Booneville — First Battle in Mis- 
souri 46 

VIII. The Captured Camp— A Chaplain's Exploit 51 

IX. Regulars and Volunteers — Foraging in the Enemy's 

Country 57 

X. Lessons in Mule Driving — Critical Position of the 

Army 64 

XL A Terrible March^A Fight and a Retreat 71 

XII. Battle of Wilson's Creek — Death of General Lyon. . 77 

XIII. After the Battle— A Flag of Truce 84 

XIV. Losses in Battle — The Retreat 91 

XV. In Camp at Rolla — A Private Expedition into the 

Enemy's Country 97 

XVI. Hints for Campaigning — In a Rebel's House — Snuff- 
Dipping 104 

XVII. A Successful Scout — Capture of a Rebel Cavalry 

Squad Ill 

XVIII. The Rebels on the Offensive — Siege of Lexington. . . 117 
XIX. Surrender of Lexington — Price's Retreat and Fre- 
mont's Advance 124 

XX. Occupation of Springfield — Another Battle Immi- 
nent 131 

XXI. Army Scouting — Refugees and their Sufferings 138 

XXII. A General Advance — A Scouting Party and what 

Came of It 144 





XXIII. In the Camp of the Rebels — Captiu'ed Letters and 

their C'ontents 151 

XXIV. A Rapid Pursuit — "The Arkansas Traveler" — 

Game Chickens and Cooking Mains 157 

XXV. A Rapid Retreat — An Expedition and a Forced 

March 165 

XXVI. Van Dorn's Advance — Sigel's Masterly Retreat — 

The Battle Begun 173 

XXVII. The Fighting near Elkhorn Tavern — Harry's Exper- 
ience under Fire 180 

XXVIII. General Carr' s Division Driven Back — Jack Becomes 

a Prisoner 187 

XXIX. The Night in Camp — Beginning of tlie Last Day's 

Battle 194 

XXX. Tlie Rebels Defeated — End of the Battle — Indians 

Scalping our Soldiers and Mutilating their Bodies. 201 
XXXI. Jack's Experiences as a Prisoner — Rebel Soldiers' 

Opinions 210 

XXXII. Jack's Diplomacy — His Return to Camp — A New 

Move 216 

XXXIII. A New Scouting Expedition — Captured by the 

Enemy 223 

XXXIV. Captured Again— How Jack " Played Crazy " 230 

XXXV. A Treacherous Host — How the Boys turned the 

Tables 246 

XXXVI. Convicted by a Dumb Witness — Short Rations — A 

Capture 253 

XXXVII. Returning Cordelia's Kindness — Jack and Harry on 

a Naval Expedition 260 

XXXVIII. The Boat vinder Fire — Important information 266 

XXXIX. A Joke on the Spies — Wonderful Shells — Tlie Army 

Reaches Clarendon 275 

XL. A Night Attack by Pigs — Battle Between Forts 

and Gunboats — Disaster to the Momid City 282 

XLI. The Lost Army in Camp at Helena — Negroes Utilized 

—The End ' 290 





" Let 's go and enlist ! " 

" Perhaps they won't take us," was the reply. 

" Well, there 's nothing like trying," responded the 
first speaker. " Nothing ventured, nothing gained." 

" That 's so," said the other. " And if we can't go for 
soldiers, perhaps they '11 find us useful about the camp 
for something else." 

This conversation took place between two boys of 
Dubuque, Iowa, one pleasant morning early in the year 
1861. They were Jack Wilson and Harry Fulton, neither 
of whom had yet seen his sixteenth birthday. They were 
the sons of industrious and respectable parents, whose 
houses stood not far apart on one of the humbler streets 
of that ambitious city ; they had known each other for 
ten years or more, had gone to school together, played 
together, and at the time of which we are writing they 
were working side by side in the same shop. 

The war for the destruction of the Union on the one 
hand and its preservation on the other had just begun. 
The election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency had 


alarmed the Southern states, who regarded it as a menace 
to their beloved system of negro slavery. In consequence 
of his election the Southern leaders endeavored to with- 
draw their states from the Union, and one after another 
had passed ordinances of secession. South Carolina was 
the first to secede, her action being taken on the twentieth 
of December, five weeks after the presidential election. 
Ten other states followed her example and united with 
South Carolina in forming the Confederate States of North 
America, choosing Jefi'erson Davis as their first president. 
Then followed the demand for the surrender of the forts 
and other property of the United States in the region in 
rebellion. Fort Sumter was taken after a bloodless fight, 
in which the first gun was fired by the South ; other 
states seceded, and then came the uprising of the North 
in defense of the Union. 

As if by the wand of a magician the whole North was 
transformed into a vast military camp, where only a few 
days before nothing was to be seen save the arts and arms 
of peace and industry. Recruiting offices were opened 
in every city and almost in every village. Squads were 
formed into companies, companies into regiments and 
regiments into brigades, with a celerity that betokened ill 
for the cause of secession. The North had been taunted 
over and over again that it was more intent upon money- 
making than anything else, and nothing could provoke it 
into a fight. It had been patient and long-suffering, but 
the point of exasperation had been reached, and the men 
of the Northern states were now about to show of what 
stuff they were made. 

The president issued a call for seventy-five thousand 
men to serve for three months, and the call was responded 
to with alacrity. And it was in the recruiting that formed 
a part of this response that our story opens. 

Jack and Harry went to the recruiting office, which 


was on one of the principal streets of Dubuque and easy 
to find. Over the doorway an immense flag — the flag of 
the nation — was waving in the morning breeze, and in 
front of the door was an excited group of men discussing 
the prospects for the future, and particularly the chances 
of war. 

" It '11 be over in a month," said one, " and we '11 all be 
back here at home before our enlistment time 's up." 

" Yes ; the South '11 be cleaned out in no time," said 
another. " Those fellows are good on the brag, but when 
they look into the muzzles of Northern muskets they '11 
turn tail and run." 

" Don't be so sure of that," said a third. " The South 
may be wrong in all this business, but they '11 give us all 
the fighting we want." 

" You 'd better go and fight for Jeff Davis," was the 
retort which followed. " We don't want any fellows like 
you around us." 

" That we don't, you bet," said another, and the senti- 
ment was echoed by fully half the listeners. 

" You 're all wrong," persisted the man who had just 
spoken. " Don't misunderstand me; I'm just as good 
a Union man as anybody, and I 'm going to fight for the 
Union, but I don't want anybody to go off half-cocked, 
and think we're going to lick the South out of its boots 
in no time ; because we can't do it. We 're going to win 
in this fight ; we 're twenty millions and they 're eight, 
and we 've got most of the manufacturing and the men 
who know how to work with their hands. But the 
Southerners are Americans like ourselves, and can fight 
just as well as we can. They think they 're right, and 
thinking so makes a heap of difference when you go in 
for war. They '11 do their level best, just as we shall." 

" Perhaps they will," was the reply, " but we '11 make 
short work of 'em." 


" All right," responded the other, " we won't lose our 
tempers over it ; but anybody who thinks the war will 
be over in three months doesn't appreciate American 
fighting ability, no matter on which side of the line it is 

This mode of putting the argument silenced some of 
his opponents, particularly when he followed it up by 
showing how the Southern regiments in the Mexican war 
covered themselves with glory side by side with the 
Northern ones. But the loudest of the talkers refused to 
be silenced, and continued to taunt him with being a 
sympathizer with the rebellion. 

At the outbreak of the war a great deal of this kind of 
talk was to be heard on both sides ; men in the North 
declaring that the South would be conquered and the war 
ended in three months, while people at the South boasted 
of the ability of one Southern man to whip three North- 
erners. When the armies fairly met in the field and steel 
clashed against steel all this boasting on both sides was 
silenced, and North and South learned to respect each 
otlier for their soldierly qualities. One of the greatest of 
military mistakes is to hold your enemy in contempt, and 
to this mistake is due some of the disasters of the early 
days of the war. 

And the lesson may be carried further. One of the 
greatest mistakes in the battle of life is to underrate those 
who oppose you or the hindrances that lie in your path. 
Always regard your opponent as fully your equal in 
everything, and then use your best endeavors to over- 
come him. Do your best at all times, and you have more 
than an even chance of success in the long run. 

Jack and Harry listened a few moments to the debate 
among the men in front of the recruiting office, and then 
made their way inside. A man in the uniform of a cap- 
tain was sitting behind a desk taking the names of those 

nm LOST ahmt. 

that wanted to enlist, and telling them to wait their turn 
for examination. In a few moments a man came out 
from an inner room, and then a name was called and its 
owner went inside. 

" Don't think you '11 get in there, sonny," said a man, 
who observed the puzzled look of Jack as he glanced to- 
ward the inner door. 

"What are they doing in there?" queried Jack encour- 
aged by the friendly way in which he had been addressed. 

" They 're putting the recruits through their paces," was 
the reply ; "examining 'em to see whether they '11 do for_ 

" How do they do it ? " 

" They strip a man down to his bare skin," was the 
reply, "and then they thump him and measure him, to 
see if his lungs are sound; weigh him and take his height, 
make him jump, try his eyes, look at his teeth ; in fact, 
they put him through very much as you 've seen a horse 
handled by a dealer who wanted to buy him. They 've 
refused a lot of men here that quite likely they '11 be glad 
to take a few months from now." 

And so it was. The first call for troops was responded 
to by far more men than were wanted to fill the quota, 
and the recruiting officers could afford to be very par- 
ticular in their selections. Subsequent calls for troops 
were for three years' service, and, as the number under 
arms increased, recruiting became a matter of greater 
difficulty. Men that were refused at the first call were 
gladly accepted in later ones. Before the end of the first 
year of the war more than six hundred and sixty-one 
thousand men were under arms in the North. 

Jack and Harry walked up to the desk where the officer 
sat as soon as they saw he was unoccupied. 

"Well, my boys, what can I do for you?" said the 
captain cheerily. 


Jack waited a moment for Harry to speak, and finding 
he did not do so, broke the ice himself with — 

" We want to enhst, General." 

The youth was unfamiliar with the insignia of rank, 
and thought he would be on the safe side by applying 
the highest title he knew of. The gilded buttons and 
shoulder-straps dazzled his eyes, and it is no wonder that 
he thought a man with so much ornamentation was de- 
serving of the highest title. 

" Captain, if you please," said the officer, smiling; "but 
I 'm afraid you 're too young for us. How old are you?" 

" Coming sixteen," both answered in a breath. 

The captain shook his head as he answered that they 
were altogether too young. 

" Could n't we do something else ? " queried Harry, 
eagerly. " We can drive horses and work about the 

" If you ever go for a soldier," replied the captain, 
"you '11 find that the men do their own camp work, and 
don't have servants. Perhaps we can give you a chance 
at the teams. Here, take this to the quartermaster," 
and he scribbled a memorandum, suggesting that the 
boys might be handy to have about camp and around the 
horses. They could n't be enlisted, of course, but he liked 
their looks, and thought they could afford to feed the 
youths, anyhow. 

The boys eagerly hastened to the quartermaster, whom 
they had some difficulty in finding. He questioned them 
closely, and finally said they might go with the regiment 
when it moved. It was not then ready for the field, and 
he advised the boys to stay at home until the organization 
was complete and the regiment received orders to march 
to the seat of war. 

The parental permission was obtained with compara- 
tively little difficulty, as the fathers of both the youths 


were firm believers in the theory of a short war, without 
any figliting of consequence ; they thought the outing 
would be a pleasant affair of two or three months at 
farthest. Had they foreseen the result of the call to 
arms, and especially the perils and privations which were 
to befall Jack and Harry, it is probable that our heroes 
would have been obliged to run away in order to carry 
out their intention of going to the field. And possibly 
their ardor would have been dampened a little, and they 
might have thought twice before marching away as they 
did when the regiment was ordered to the front and the 
scene of active work iu the field. 




While Jack and Harry are waiting impatiently for the 
order that will give them a taste of military life, we will 
leave them for a while and go down the Mississippi river to 
the great city of St. Louis. 

The state of Missouri was one of those known as the 
" Border States," as it lay on the border between North 
and South. It was the most northerly of the slavehold- 
ing states west of the Mississippi river, and the system 
of slavery did not have a strong hold upon her people. 
Probably the majority of her native-born citizens were in 
favor of slavery, or only passively opposed to it, but it 
contained two hundred thousand residents of German 
birth, and these almost to a man were on the side of 
freedom. When the question of secession was submitted 
to the popular vote, the state, by a majority of eighty- 
thousand votes, refused to secede ; but the governor and 
nearly all the rest of the state authorities were on the side 
of secession, and determined to take Missouri out of the 
Union in spite of the will of the people. 

Governor Jackson was in fall sympathy with the seces- 
sion movement, and with the reins of power in his hands 
he made the most of his opportunities. General Sterling 
Price, who commanded the Missouri state militia, was 
equally on the side of slavery and its offspring, secession, 
though at first he opposed the movement for taking the 
state out of the Union, and was far more moderate in his 


councils than was the governor and others of the state 
officials. Earnestly opposed to these men were Francis P. 
Blair, junior, and other unconditional Union men, most of 
whom lived in St. Louis, and had for years been fighting 
the battle of freedom on behalf of the state. They believed 
and constantly argued that Missouri would be far better 
off as a free state than a slave one, while the opponents 
of slavery in the Eastern and extreme Northern states 
had based their arguments mainly on the ground of 
justice to the black man. The Free-State men of Missouri 
gave the rights of the negro a secondary place and some- 
times no ]Dlace at all, but confined themselves to showing 
that the state would be better off and more prosperous 
under freedom than under slavery. They had a good 
knowledge of human nature, similar to that displayed by 
the author of the old maxim that " Honesty is the best 
policy." " Be honest," he would say, " because it is the 
best policy to be so, and let the question of right or wrong 
take care of itself." 

All through the month of April, 1861, the plotting to 
take Missouri out of the Union was carried on by the 
secession party, and at the same time there was counter- 
plotting on the part of the Union men. The secessionists, 
having the aid and sympathy of the state authorities, had 
the advantages on their side, and were not slow to use 
them. They organized forces under the name of minute 
men, and had them constantly drilling and learning the 
duties of soldiers. Later, under an order issued by the 
Governor, they formed a camp of instruction, under com- 
mand of General D. M. Frost, in the suburbs of St. Louis, 
with the openly-declared intention of capturing the 
United States arsenal, which stood on the bank of the 
river just below the city. 

At the same time the Union men were equally active, 
and, under the leadership of Blair, those who were rea^y 


to fight for the preservation of the nation were organized 
into a military force called the " Home Guards." While 
the plotting was going on and matters were progressing 
toward actual warfare, Captain Nathaniel Lyon, who com- 
manded at the arsenal, caused the garrison to be strength- 
ened, sent away the superfluous arms and ammunition 
to a place of greater safety, armed the Home Guards, and 
on the tenth of May surprised the secessionists by marching 
out in force and capturing Camp Jackson, the camp of 
instruction already mentioned. 

In order to have good reason for making the capture. 
Captain Lyon visited Camp Jackson in disguise and went 
through it from one end to the other. What he found in 
the camp gave him sufficient reason for action. Here 
it is : 

When the state of Louisiana seceded from the ITnion 
the United States arsenal at Baton Rouge was seized by 
the state authorities, who took forcible possession of the 
arms and munitions of war that they found there. When 
he was planning to capture the arsenal at St. Louis, 
Governor Jackson found that he needed some artillery 
with which to open fire from the hills that command the 
arsenal, which is on low ground on the bank of the river. 

Governor Jackson sent two officers to the Confederate 
capital, which was then at Montgomery, Alabama, to 
make an appeal to Jefferson Davis for artillery from the 
lot taken at Baton Rouge, and explain for what it was 
wanted. President Davis granted the request, ordered 
the commandant at Baton Rouge to deliver the artillery 
and ammunition as desired, and he wrote at the same 
time to Governor Jackson as follows : 

* * * After learning as well as I could from the gentlemen accred- 
ited to me what was most needed for the attack on the arsenal, I 
have directed that Captains Greene and Duke should be furnished 
with two 12-poimd howitzers and two 32-pouud guns, with the proper 


ammunition for each. These, from the commanding hills, will he ef- 
fective against the.garrison and to break the inclosing walls of the 
place. I concur with you in the great importance of capturing the 
arsenal and securing its supplies. * * » We look anxiously and 
hopefully for the day when the star of Missouri shall be added to the 
constellation of the Confederate States of America. 
With the best wishes I am, very respectfully, yours, 

Jeffekson Davis. 

The cannon and ammunition reached St. Louis on the 
eighth of May, and Avere immediately sent to Camp Jack- 
son. The negotiations for tliem had been known to Blair 
and Lyon, and as soon as they learned of the arrival of 
the material which would be so useful in capturing the 
arsenal, they determined to act. Captain Lyon, as before 
stated, went in disguise through the camp on the ninth, 
saw with his own eyes the cannon and ammunition, 
learned that they had come from Baton Rouge, and was 
told for what purpose they were intended. 

Here was the stolen property of the United States in 
the hands of the enemies of the government, and intended 
to be used for further thefts by violence. There could be 
no doubt of his duty in the matter, except in the mind of 
a secessionist or his sympathizer. 

By the secessionists the capture of Camp Jackson was 
looked upon as a great outrage, for which the Union men 
had no authority under the Constitution and laws either 
of the United States or of the state of Missouri. It was a 
peculiar circumstance of the opening months of the rebell- 
ion, and in fact all through it, that the rebels and their 
sympathizers were constantly invoking the Constitution 
of the United States wherever it could be brought to bear 
against the supporters of the government ; so much was 
this the case that in time it came to be almost a certainty 
that any man who prated about the Constitution was on 
the side of the rebellion. The men who were ready to 


violate it were those who constantly sought to shield 
themselves behind it. 

As an illustration of this state of affairs, may be cited 
the letter of Governor Jackson in reply to the proclama- 
tion of President Lincoln calling for seventy-five thousand 
troops for three months, " to maintain the honor, the in- 
tegrity and the existence of our National Union, and the 
perpetuity of popular government ; * * * and to repossess 
the forts, places, and property which have been seized 
from the Union." 

Missouri was called upon for four regiments of militia 
as her quota of tlie seventy-five thousand. Governor 
Jackson replied to the president that he considered the 
requisition "illegal, unconstitutional and revolutionary in 
its objects, inhuman and diabolical, and cannot be com- 
plied with." At the same time he was going on with 
preparations for carrying the state out of the Union, con- 
trary to the desires of a majority of its inhabitants, as if 
they had no rights that he was bound to respect! 

As before stated, the arsenal at St. Louis is completely 
dominated by the range of hills beyond it, and a military 
force having possession of these hills would have the ar- 
senal in its control. The secession leaders laid their plans 
to take possession of these hills in order to capture the ar- 
senal. Learning of their intentions. Captain Lyon threw 
up a line of defensive works in the streets outside the 
walls of the arsenal, whereupon the secessionists invoked 
the local laws and endeavored to convince him that he 
had no right to do anything of the kind. The board of 
police commissioners ordered him to keep his men inside 
the walls of the arsenal, but he refused to do so, and 
for this he was loudly denounced as a violator of the 

There were about seven hundred men in Camp Jackson, 
under command of General Frost. Captain Lyon had 


issued arms to several regiments of the Home Guards of 
St. Louis, in spite of the protest of the police commission- 
ers, who considered his action in doing so highly improper. 
These regiments, added to the regular soldiers composing 
the garrison at the arsenal, gave Captain Lyon a force of 
six or seven thousand men, with which he marched out on 
Friday, the tenth of May, surrounded Camp Jackson, and 
demanded its surrender. Lender the circumstances Gen- 
eral Frost could do nothing else than surrender, which he 
did at once. The militia stacked their arms and were 
marched out on their way to the arsenal. A short dis- 
tance from the camp they were halted for some time, and 
during the halt a large crowd of people collected, nearly 
all of them being friends of the prisoners or sympathizers 
with secession. 

Most of the Home Guards were Germans, and during 
the halt they were reviled with all the epithets with 
which the tongues of the secession sympathizers were 
familiar. These epithets comprised all the profanity and 
vulgarity known to the English language in its vilest 
aspects, and added to them was the opprobrious name of 
" Dutch blackguards," which was applied in consequence 
of one of the companies calling itself Die Schioartze Garde. 
Without orders, some of the soldiers fired on the jeering 
mob ; the fire passed along the line until several com- 
panies had emptied their rifles, and twenty-eight people 
fell, killed or mortally wounded, among them being 
three prisoners. Then the firing ceased as suddenly 
as it began, and the prisoners were marched to the 

On the eleventh all the captured men were liberated on 
their parole not to bear arras against the LTnited States. 
One officer, Captain Emmett McDonald, refused to accept 
release on this condition, and like a true secessionist 
sought his remedy through the Constitution and the laws 


of the country. It took a long time to secure it, but 
eventually he was liberated on a technicality, went South 
and joined the Southern cause, and was killed in battle 
not long afterward. 

" What has all this to do with Jack and Harry?" the 
impatient reader asks. We shall very soon find out. 




For some days it was rumored in Dubuque that the 
Iowa troops would soon be ordered to march into the 
neigliboring state of Missouri. 

There was gi-eat excitement wlien, on the morning of 
the eleventli of May, the particulars of occurrences of the 
day before in St. Louis were published. Jack read about 
it in the morning paper and then hurried to Harry's house 
as fast as liis young feet could carry him. 

" This means business," said Jack, as he quickly nar- 
rated to Harry what he had read. 

" So it does," was the response ; " we '11 surely be off 
before many days. Let 's go to camp." 

Away they went, and found, as they expected, that 
everybody expected to move to the front very shortly. 

" We are pretty nearly ready for orders," said the quar- 
termaster, " and you 'd better come here twice a day, if not 
oftener, to make sure that you don't get left. Watch 
the newspapers and see what happens in Missouri for the 
next few days, as it will have a good deal to do with our 

The boys did as they were directed, and, what was 
more, they went to a tailor and bought suits resembling 
those worn by the soldiers. They were not entitled to 
receive uniforms from the quartermaster, as they had not 
been enlisted or regularly employed, and, therefore, their 
outfits were paid for out of their own pockets. But the 


clothes they wanted were not costly, and therefore their 
outfits did not cost them mucli. 

There was more news of importance the next day, and 
if the excitement was great in Dubuque, it was nothing 
to that in St. Louis. 

According to the histories of the time, it occurred in 
this wise : 

A regiment of the Home Guards was marching from 
the arsenal to its barracks, which lay at the other side 
of the city, and while on its way it encountered a dense 
multitude which blocked the street. The crowd being 
almost wholly composed of secessionists, many of whom 
were armed with pistols, a pistol-shot was fired at the 
soldiers, whereupon the latter opened fire, killing eight 
men and wounding several others. Then the regiment 
continued to its barracks and was not further mo- 

A rumor went around among the secessionists that the 
Germans had threatened to kill everybody who did not 
agree with them, and a general massacre was seriously 
feared. The police commissioners and the mayor asked 
to have the Home Guards sent away from the city, and 
though General Harney, the commander of the depart- 
ment, promised to comply with their request, he was soon 
convinced by Blair and Lyon that it could not be done 
without giving the city into the hands of the secessionists. 
Then came a rumor that the Home Guards had refused 
to obey the orders of General Harney, and were about to 
begin the destruction of the city and the murder of its 

A panic followed, and on the twelfth and thirteenth of 
May thousands of women and children were sent out of 
the city ; the ferry-boats were crowded to their utmost 
capacity, and extra steamboats were pressed into service 
to convey the people to places of safety. Quiet was 


not restored until two companies of regular soldiers 
were brought into the city and General Harney had 
issued a proclamation in which he pledged his faith as 
a soldier to preserve order and protect all unoffending 
citizens. This brought back nearly all the fugitives, 
but there Avere some who never returned, as they feared 
the terrible " Dutch blackguards " would revolt against 
their officers and deluge the streets of St. Louis with 

Jack and Harry read with great interest the account of 
these happenings in the neighboring state, and wondered 
how they would all end. They also read the editorial 
comments of the newspapers, but could not understand 
all they found there. 

So they strolled down to camp and questioned one of 
the soldiers, an intelligent printer from one of tlie news- 
paper offices. 

" One thing we want to know," said Jack, " is what is 
meant by ' states-rights ' ? " 

"That 's what the South is going to war about,'' was 
the reply ; " or at any rate that is tlie pretext of the 
leaders, though I 've no doubt it is honestly believed by 
the great mass of the southern people." 

" What is it, anyway ? " 

" Well, it is the idea that the general government of 
the United States has no power to coerce or control a 
state against the latter's will." 

" Does that mean," said Harry, " that if a state wants 
to go out of the Union she has a perfect right to do so, 
and there 's no power or right in the general government 
to stop her?" 

" Yes, that 's what it means," was the reply. " The 
states-rights argument is that the states that were dis- 
satisfied with the election of President Lincoln had a per- 
fect right to secede or step out of the Union, and the 


Union had no right to force them to stay in or come 

" Thank you," said Harry ; " I think I understand it 
now. And how is it with the border states, hke Missouri, 
and the state sovereignty they 're talking about ? " 

" The states-rights men in Missouri chiim that the na- 
tional government has no right or authority to call for 
troops from Missouri to aid in putting down rebellion in 
the seceded states; that Governor Jackson did right in 
refusing such troops when the president called for them ; 
that the national government has no right to enlist troops 
in Missouri to take part in the war, and that it must not 
be permitted to march its troops into or across or through 
any part of the state in order to reach the states in rebell- 
ion against the national authority." 

" In other words," said one of the boys, " they want the 
state of Missouri to be entirely neutral in the war — to 
take no part in it either way ? " 

"That 's what they say," replied the printer, with a 

" But look here," exclaimed Harry ; " have n't I read 
that the secessionists in Missouri seized the United States 
arsenal at Liberty, in the western part of the state, and 
took possession of all the cannon, small-arms and ammu- 
nition they found there ? " 

« Yes." 

" And have n't I read about how they planned to cap- 
ture the St. Louis arsenal, and Jeff Davis sent them 
some artillery and annnunition for that purpose, and 
wrote them a letter saying exactly what the cannon 
were to be used for, and how they were to be placed on 
the hills behind the arsenal in order to batter down the 
walls ? " 

" Yes, you read that, and it 's all true." 

" That 's what they call neutrality, is it ? Do they 


claim that they have a perfect right to do anything they 
please toward destroying the government, but the govern- 
ment does wrong when it lifts a finger for its own pro- 
tection ? " 

" That 's exactly what they claim and have said over 
and over again in their newspapers and through tlie 
voices of their speakers, and every secessionist you talk 
with says the same thing." 

" Well," exclaimed Harry, after a slight pause, " I don't 
think much of such neutrality as that. It 's as one-sided 
as the handle of a jug — a sort of ' heads I win, tails you 
lose,' business. You could respect them and believe them 
sincere if they said ' hands off from us, and we '11 keep 
hands off from you,' and then lived up to what they said." 

Jack agreed with Harry, and both of them wondered 
till they were tired and even then could not make it out 
hoAV honest and fair-minded men as many of the southern 
sympathizers undoubtedly were, could call such action as 
that by the name of neutrality. Doubtless some of the 
young people who read this story will wonder too, and 
possibly they may doubt that such was the case. Their 
doubts will be dispelled when they consult any of their 
friends who are familiar with the history of the war of 
the rebellion. 

The events of the tenth and eleventh of May greatly 
aided Governor Jackson in his efforts to carry the state 
of Missouri into the war on the side of the South. The 
legislature met on the second of jMay, and the governor 
recommended that the state should be placed in a con- 
dition of defense, so that she could resist invasion by the 
national forces. While it was discussing the subject and 
making slow progress the tenth of May came, and with it 
the Camp Jackson affair. In less than fifteen minutes 
after the news was received both houses of the legislature 
had passed the so-called military bill providing for arming 


the state, and it was ready to be signed by tlie governor 
and become a law. 

Five days later the legislature adjourned, after passing 
other acts throwing the state on the side of secession, 
appropriating two million dollars for military purposes, 
in addition to the school fund and all other money be- 
longing to the state. Tlie greatest alarm prevailed, as 
the wildest stories were circulated about the bloodthirst- 
iness of the Germans, who composed the greater part of 
the Home Guards organized for the defense of St. Louis. 
On a rumor that two regiments of them were approach- 
the capital a railway bridge over the Gasconade River 
was partially destroyed, and many people fled fom the 

The president of the United States removed General 
Harney from the command of the department, and ap- 
pointed Lyon, who had been promoted to brigadier-general 
of volunteers in his stead. Troops in Kansas, Iowa and 
Illinois were ordered to be ready to move into Missouri, 
and everything indicated that the government was deter- 
mined to put a stop to the so-called neutrality of the 
state. The neutrality was well illustrated by the circum- 
stances that in all parts of the state the Union men were 
the victims of outrages at the hands of their secessionist 

For no other offense than being in favor of the LTnion 
and opposed to Secession men were dragged from their 
beds at night and ordered to leave the neighborhood 
within twenty-four hours, their houses and barns were 
burned, their cattle and horses stolen, work in the fields 
was suspended, and everything was the reverse of peace- 
ful. By an agreement between General Harney on the 
Union side and General Price on behalf of the state au- 
thorities, the operations of tlie military bill had been sus- 
pended, and the volunteers which it called together were 


to be sent to their homes. But instead of going there 
tliey were gathered into companies and battahons in con- 
venient places, where they were drilled and instructed in 
the duties of soldiers. Evidently the neutrality that the 
Missouri rebels wanted was as oue-sided as we have already 
described it. 




The regiment to which our young friends were attached 
— the First Iowa — received orders to move southward. 
Everything was bustle and activity in the camp, and the 
hoys made themselves useful in a variety of ways. 

As before stated, they were to accompany the wagon- 
train, and at once proceeded to make friends with every- 
body connected with that branch of the regiment's 
service; and they were not only friendly with the men, 
but with the horses. Some of the animals showed a ten- 
dency to be unruly, but by gentle ways and words Jack 
and Harry secured their confidence, and it was often re- 
marked that the brutes would do more for the boys than 
for anybody else. One of the teamsters asked Jack how 
it was, and said he would give a good deal to know their 
secret of horse-training. 

" There 's no secret about it," replied Jack ; " at least, 
none that I know of. My father is very fond of horses, 
and has often told me that he always treats them kindly, 
but at the same time firmly. If he sets out to have a 
horse do anything he makes him do it ; if the creature 
is stubborn he coaxes him and pets him, and keeps on 
urging him to do what he wants, and after a while the 
horse does it. When he has once begun he never lets up, 
and the animal soon knows that the man is master, and 
at the same time learns that he isn't to be cruelly pun- 
ished, very often for not understanding what is wanted." 


To show what he could do in the way of equestrian 
training, Jack took charge of a " balky " horse that fre- 
quently stopped short in his tracks and refused to move 
on m spite of a sound thrashing. All efforts to get him 
to go ahead were of no use, and altogether the beast 
(whose name was Billy) was the cause of a great deal of 
bad language on the part of the teamsters, which even 
the presence of the chaplain could not restrain. 

Jack harnessed Billy into a cart, and after asking those 
about him to make no interference, and not even to come 
near him, he started to mount a small hill at the edge of 
the camp. Before he had ascended ten feet of the sloping 
road Billy halted, and showed by his position and the roll 
of his eye that he intended to stay where he was. 

Jack dismounted and took the animal by the head ; he 
tugged gently at the bridle three or four times, speaking 
gently and kindly all the while, but to no j^urpose. Billy 
was " set " in his determination, and did not j)ropose to 
oblige anybody. 

" All right," said Jack ; " if you want to stop here I '11 
stay too." And with that he pulled out a dime novel and 
sat down by the roadside close to Billy's head. 

Jack opened his book and began to read, while Billy 
looked on and meditated. Half an hour passed and then 
an hour. At the end of that time Jack made another 
effort to start the horse up the hill, but with the same 
result as before. 

Then he read another hour and then another, stopping 
once in a while to try and coax the animal to move on. 
By this time it was noon, and Jack called to Harry to 
bring him something to eat. Harry came with a slice of 
cold meat and a piece of bread, and immediately went 
away, leaving Jack to devour his lunch in silence, which 
he did. When the meal was concluded he read another 
chapter or two, and then he took Billy once more by 


the bridle and in the same gentle tones urged him to 

Evidently the horse had thought the matter over, as he 
showed a perfect willingness to do as his young master 
desired. Without the least hesitation he went straisrht 


up the hill, and Avhen they were at the top Jack petted 
and praised him, and after a while took him back to camp. 
The lesson was repeated again in the afternoon and on 
the following day, and from that time on Billy was a 
model of obedience as long as he was kindly treated. 

" I believe a horse has to think things over just as we 
do," said Jack ; *'and if you watch him you '11 find out that 
he can't think fast. What I wanted was to have him 
understand that he had got to stay there all day and all 
night if necessary, until he did Avhat I wanted him to do. 
When he saw me reading that book and sitting so quiet 
by the roadside, and particularly when he saw me eat my 
dinner and sit down to wait just as I had waited before, 
he made up his mind that 't was n't any use to hold out. 
Horses have good memories. Hereafter when he 's in- 
clined to be balky he '11 think of that long wait and give 
in without any fuss." 

The regiment went by steamboat down the Mississippi 
river to the frontier of Missouri, and there waited orders 
to advance into the interior of the would-be neutral state, 
and while it waited there was a rapid progress of events 
in St. Louis, to which we will now turn. 

General Lyon had positive information that the rebels 
were preparing to bring troops from Arkansas and the 
Indian Territory to assist the Missouri state guard in 
keeping out the "Dutch and Yankees." Of course this 
was quite in keeping with the neutrality about which 
they had so much to say, and if allowed to go on it was 
very evident that the whole of the interior of the state 
might soon be in their control. Accordingly he asked 
for further authority to enlist troops in the state, and 


requested that the governors of the neighboring states 
should be directed to furnish him with several regiments 
that were in readiness. His request was granted, and 
within less than a month from the capture of Camp Jack- 
son General Lyon had a military force aggregating ten 
thousand men in St. Louis, and as many more in Kansas, 
Iowa and Illinois waiting orders to move wherever he 
wanted them to go. 

Besides these troops there were several thousands of 
Home Guards in different parts of the state ; many of 
these men were Germans, who had seen military service 
in the old country, and were excellent material for an 
army. Opposed to them the governor had a few thou- 
sand state troops, many of them poorly armed, but they 
greatly made up in activity what they lacked in numbers 
or equipment, so far as keeping the country in a perpetual 
turmoil was concerned. 

It was very evident that the state troops could not hold 
out against General Lyon's disciplined army, and conse- 
quently the governor made ready to abandon Jefferson 
City, the capital, whenever General Lyon moved against 
it. All the state property that could be moved was sent 
away, and the governor and other of&cials prepared to 
follow whenever hostilities began. 

Through the efforts of several gentlemen who still 
hoped for a peaceful solution of the troubles of Missouri, 
a conference was held at St. Louis on the eleventh of June 
between Governor Jackson and General Price on behalf 
of the state authorities, and General Lyon and Colonel 
Blair on the other. General Lyon had guaranteed that if 
Jackson and Price would come to St. Louis for the pur- 
poses of the conference they should have " safe con- 
duct " both ways and not be molested while in the city. 

The meeting was a historic one. General Lyon, on 
being notified of the arrival of Jackson and Price in the 


city, asked them to meet hiin at the United States arsenal. 
The wily governor did not consider himself altogether 
safe in venturing there, in spite of the safe-conduct that 
he held, and suggested that the conference must be held 
at the Planters' House, a well-known hotel of St. Louis, 
and at that time the principal one. Accordingly the gen- 
eral went there with Colonel Blair, and after a few polite 
phrases the negotiations began. Present, but not taking 
part in the debate, were Major Conant, of General Lyon's 
staff, and Colonel Snead, the private secretary of Governor 

Four or five hours were consumed in the discussion, 
which was an animated one throughout. The governor 
demanded that the United States troops should be with- 
drawn from the state, and that no recruiting for the union 
cause should be permitted anywhere in Missouri. When 
the troops were withdrawn he would disband the state 
militia, and thus the state would be kept entirely neutral. 
General Lyon insisted that the government had the right 
to send its troops where it pleased within the boundaries 
of the United States, and he would listen to nothing else. 
No progress was made by either side, as neither would 
yield a point. Finally General Lyon brought the confer- 
ence to an end by telling Governor Jackson it was useless 
to talk longer, and that in one hour an officer would call 
to escort them out of the city. 

Lyon and Blair went at once to the arsenal to give 
orders for the movement of troops, and within an hour 
from the end of the conference Jackson and Price were 
on their way to Jefferson City as fast as the railway train 
could carry them. On the way they ordered the bridges 
over the Osage and Gasconade rivers to be burned, in 
order to prevent pursuit. 

Early the next morning the governor issued a procla- 
mation calling the people of the state to arms, for the pur- 


pose, as he said, of repelling invasion and protecting the 
lives and property of the citizens of the state. He also 
asked the Confederate government to send a co-operating 
force into Missouri as soon as possible, and gave orders 
for General Price to take the field at once with all the 
troops he could muster. 

General Lyon ordered three regiments with two bat- 
teries of artillery, under General Sweeney, to occupy the 
southwestern part of the state, and by the thirteenth they 
were on their way to Springfield by way of Rolla, which 
was then the terminus of the railroad in that direction. 
The object of this movement was to stop the advance of 
any Confederate force coming from Arkansas to help 
the Missourians, and also to head off Jackson and Price 
in case they marched in that direction. At the same 
time General Lyon, with two regiments of infantry and 
a battery of artillery, together with about five hundred 
regular infantry, went up the Missouri river to Jefferson 
City, which they captured on the fifteenth without oppo- 
sition, the rebels having left on the day that General 
Lyon started from St. Louis. 

At the same time that he gave orders for the move- 
ments from St. Louis, General Lyon telegraphed to the 
commander of the Iowa regiment to which Jack and 
Harry were attached, to advance into Missouri in the 
direction of Booneville, a flourishing town on the south 
bank of the Missouri, and the spot selected by General 
Price as the rallying point of the state troops. There was 
a considerable amount of war material stored there belong- 
ing to the state, and by orders of the governor an arsenal 
had been started at Booneville for the manufacture of 
cannon and small-arms. Most of the inhabitants sympa- 
thized with the secession movement, which was not the 
case with the population of Jefferson City, largely com- 
posed of Germans. 


Jack and Harry fairly danced with delight when they 
found they were to march into the enemy's country. 
They regretted that their duties kept them with the 
wagon-train, which is not usually supposed to take part 
in hattle, and wondered if there was not some way hy 
which they could change places with two of the soldiers 
and have a share in the fighting. During their first night 
on the soil of Missouri they lost a fair amount of blood ; 
it was drawn not by the bullets or the sabers of the 
enemy, but by the mosquitos with which that region is 
abundantly supplied. Jack thought he had spilled at 
least a pint of gore in feeding the Missouri mosquitos, 
and wondered if he could be fairly charged with treason 
or giving " aid and comfort to the enemy." 

Jack and Billy. 

Page 27. 




It was a new life for Jack and Harry, and they 
greatly enjoyed it. Both declared that they slept more 
comfortably on the ground than they had formerly slept 
in bed, and as for the distance accomplished in a day's 
march it was nothing to them. They cheerfully gave up 
their places in the wagons to some of the footsore soldiers, 
and trudged along behind the vehicles as merry as larks. 

There was very little danger to be apprehended on the 
march, although they were technically in the enemy's 
country. In the part of Missouri north of the river of the 
same name, there were a few straggling bands of state 
troops under the command of General John B. Clark, but 
nothing like a disciplined force that could offer resistance 
to a well-equipped regiment like the First Iowa. When- 
ever the regiment approached a town or village, most of 
the secessionists fled in dismay, after spreading terrible 
stories of the atrocities that the invaders would be sure to 
commit as soon as they arrived. Those that remained 
were no doubt greatly surprised at the good order that 
prevailed and the perfect respect shown to private prop- 
erty. Everything required for the use of the soldiers was 
fully paid for, and instead of bewailing the visit of the in- 
vaders, many of the citizens, even those whose sympathies 
were not with the Union, hoped they would come again. 
Later in the war things changed a good deal in this re- 
spect, as we shall see further on in our story. 


One town through which the regiment passed, and where 
it halted for one day and a part of another to wait orders 
for further movements, was reputed to be one of the 
worst nests of secession in that part of the state. 

Tliere was a hotel in tlie town, and its owner had re- 
cently, so Jack learned from a boy of about his age with 
whom he established friendly relations, given it the name 
of the Davis House, in honor of the President of the 
Southern Confederacy. Jack informed the soldiers of 
this discovery, and an examination of the front of the 
building showed that the former name of the hotel had 
been painted out to make a place for the new one. 

Immediately a pot of Avhite paint and one of black were 
procured, a rough staging was erected, the word " Davis" 
Avas painted out, and " Union " took its place. The pro- 
prietor protested, but his protest was of no use. He was told 
that the Union House would be much more popular than 
the Davis House could be by any possibility, and when 
they came around again they expected to find the new 
name retained. The proprietor said his neighbors would 
burn the building over his head if he allowed it to remain 
as it was, and as soon as the regiment had gone he set 
about changing the obnoxious appellation. But he showed 
some worldly wisdom in giving it a new name altogether 
instead of restoring what might have brought him into 
trouble with future visitors of the kind he had just had. 
He avoided both " Davis " and " Union," and called the 
establishment the " Missouri Hotel," a name at which 
neither side could take offense. 

The boy who told Jack about the hotel also informed 
him where a rebel flag was concealed. It had been made 
by several young women whose sympathies were with the 
southern cause, and was intended for presentation to the 
captain of a company which would soon leave the comity 
to fight on the southern side. 


Jack hastened to Captain Herron, one of the officers of 
the regiment, and told what he had heard. The captain 
sent a detail of soldiers, under the guidance of Jack, who 
led the way to the house of one of the principal inhabit- 
ants of the place. 

The sergeant in command of the squad of soldiers 
i-apped at the door, which was opened by a servant. He 
asked for the lady of the house, and very soon a comely 
matron of forty or more stood before him. 

" We beg your pardon for disturbing you," said the ser- 
geant; "but we want a rebel flag that we are told has 
been made here recently." 

" You shan't come into my house," was the angry reply ; 
" and we've no flag for you Yankees." 

She was about to close the door in the sergeant's face, 
but the latter stopped her from so doing by stepping 
foward and holding it open. Then he ordered his men to 
follow him, which they did, accompanied by Jack. 

" Be kind enough to show us through the house," said 
the sergeant ; " we don't want to trouble you, but we must 
have that flag." 

" If you are after a flag you won't find any," she an- 
swered ; " and as for showing a lot of Yankees through the 
house, I won't." 

The sergeant ordered one man to stay at the front door 
and another at the rear, and permit nobody to leave the 
house. Then he called the servant, a negro woman, who 
had opened the door, and ordered her to show the way 
through the rooms. Accustomed to obedience, the woman 
did as she was told, her mistress being so overcome with 
rage that she did not endeavor to exercise her authority 
over the servant. 

Jack had told the sergeant that the flag was hidden 
between the sheets of a bed in the first sleeping-room 
at the head of the stairs ; consequently that was the 


room which the sergeant intimated he would Uke to see 

The room was found and so was the bed, but no flag. 
The bed showed signs of very recent disturbance, as 
though something had been withdrawn from it. Evidently 
the flag had been taken away during the parley at the 
door. The room was searched in every part, but no sign 
of the flag was found ; then other rooms were examined, 
but with the same result. 

The soldiers went through the entire house, the sergeant 
giving them strict orders to search everywhere, but at the 
same time to injure nothing. Just as they were about to 
give up the enterprise as a bad job, a brilliant thought 
occurred to Jack. 

He mounted the stairs again and went straight to the 
bed wliich had first been the object of their examination. 
Pulling down the bed-clothes, which had been left in a 
disordered condition after the investigation of the soldiers, 
he found the desired flag and bore it in triumph to the 

Then the sergeant withdrew his men, after again apol- 
ogizing to the mistress of the house, who was so angry that 
she could not, or would not, speak. On the way back to 
camp the sergeant asked Jack how it was he knew the flag 
was where he found it. 

" I sort o' guessed it," replied Jack. " I noticed that 
the woman and her two daughters did n't stay with us 
while we were rummaging the house, but kept going in 
and out of the rooms, leaving the servant to show us 

" I thought they were up to something, especially as 
one of the daughters did n't show up at all while we were 
talking at the door before we went in, 

" Now, I flgured out that while we were talking with 
the old gal the young one we did n't see was taking the 


flag out of the bed and hiding it somewhere else. When 
they saw us at the door they knew what we 'd come for, 
and probably guessed we 'd been told where the flag 

" Well, after we 'd looked through that bed and all the 
room without finding anything, we went on to the next room. 
They knew we 'd hunt high and low for the flag, and go 
through every part of the house. Now, if you 'd a-been in 
their place what would you have done, when you knew 
you could n't get out of the house without being seen ? " 

" I see it now," said the sergeant, " though I did n't be- 
fore. I 'd have watched my chance by going round through 
the halls, and put the flag in one of the places that had 
been searched, and there would n't have been any better 
place than the bed where we first went for it." 

" That 's just what I thought," said Jack in reply ; " and 
when I saw the old gal give a wink to the young one and 
the young one winked back again, it just occurred to me 
to go to the bed and have another look." 

" You 'd make a good detective," said the sergeant ap- 
provingly, and then the conversation turned to the flag 
they had captured and the probable use that would be 
made of it. 

" That 's for the captain to say," replied the sergeant in 
reply to Jack's query. 

The sergeant turned the flag over to the captain and 
the latter duly admired it and praised Jack for his acute- 
ness. The secession emblem was a fine one, being made 
of the best bunting procurable in St. Louis, whence the 
material was specially ordered. It was the regular seces- 
sion flag, the " Stars and Bars," and was intended to be 
displayed on the battlefield, where the rebels confidently 
hoped to put the defenders of the Union to flight at the 
first fire. Along the center of the flag the following 
couplet had been deftly embroidered by the fingers of the 


young ladies by whom the banner was made, and the lines 
were said to have been the composition of the maiden who 
so signally failed in concealing the precious standard from 
the search of the invaders : 

" Federals from thee shall flee, 
Gallant sons of Liberty ! ' ' 

Jack suggested that they should have added the follow- 
ing quotation from Robert Burns, as a suitable intimation 
of the possibilities in the case : 

" The best laid schemes o' mice and men 
Gang aft a-gley." 





When the march across Missouri began tlie weather 
was fine, and our young friends, as before stated, were 
delighted with campaigning life ; but the fair weather 
did n't last. 

When they were on the road again, after the affair of 
the rebel flag, they found a change of situation. A storm 
arose, and they had the disagreeable experience of march- 
ing and camping in the rain. Old soldiers think nothing 
of rain, though of course they prefer fine weather, but for 
new campaigners the first rain-storm is a serious affair. 
So it M^as with Jack and Harry. 

They had provided themselves with waterproof coats, 
which protected their shoulders, in fact, kept them fairly 
dry above the knees, but could not prevent the mud from 
forming on the ground nor protect the feet of the boys as 
they marched along. It was a weary tramp through the 
mud, and any one who has traveled in Missouri knows 
that the mud there is of a very sticky quality ; in fact, 
in most of the western states the soil has a consistency 
that is unknown in many parts of the east. When dry 
it is hard, and forms an excellent road, though it is apt 
to give off" a good deal of dust in specially dry and Avindy 
times. When there is much traveling over a road, and 
no rain falls for some time, the dust is a great deal more 
than perceptible. 


But it is in the wet season that the soil of the west puts 
in its fine work. The mud has the stickiness of glue witli 
tlie soUdity of putty. Eacli time the foot goes down it 
picks up a small quantity, very small it may be ; but as 
continual dropping will wear away stone, so will continual 
stepping convert the foot into a shapeless mass of mud. 
Five or ten pounds of mud may thus be gathered upon 
each foot of a pedestrian, and it does not require a vivid 
imagination to increase the five pounds to fifty. Horses 
" ball up " in the same way, and there are many localities 
where, under certain conditions of weather, this balling 
up is so rapid, and withal so dangerous, as to make travel 
next to impossible. 

The regiment went into camp that night pretty well 
tired out, and it is safe to say that some of the soldiers 
wished themselves home again. But if they did so wish 
they kept their thoughts to themselves, and each one 
pretended to his comrades that it was just what he 

To pitch tents on wet ground is the reverse of agree- 
able, and to lie down on the ground and try to sleep there 
is worse than the mere work of putting a tent in place. 
But both of these things must be done, except where 
there is no tent to pitch and one must sleep without any 
shelter other than the sky. When our armies took the 
field in the early part of the war there was a good supply 
of tents, so that the soldiers were well protected against 
the weather ; but this condition of affairs did not last 
long. In the early days there was an allowance of two 
wagons to a company, or twenty wagons to a regiment, 
without counting the wagons of the field officers and staff. 
Later on the wagon allowance was greatly reduced, and 
during the closing campaigns of the war the luxuries of 
the early days were practically unknown. Tlie army 
with the smallest wagon-train can make the most rapid 


progress, as a train is a great hindrance in military move- 

Jack and Harry slept beneath one of the wagons, or 
rather they tried to sleep, during the steady rain that 
continued through the night. In the morning Jack 
thought Harry resembled a butterfly that had been run 
through a sausage-machine, while the latter retorted that 
his comrade looked as if he had been fished out of a mill- 
pond and hung up to dry. Both were a good deal be- 
draggled and limp, but they would not admit it, and each 
danced about as though a little more and a great deal 
wetter ram was just what he wanted. 

" Tell you what, Harry," said Jack, " it was n't being 
wet that bothered me so much as getting wet. I found a 
reasonably dry place, and thought I was all right, but 
just as I was getting asleep I felt the tiniest little drop of 
water soakmg through on the side I was lying on. I 
tried to shrivel up so as to get away from it, bat the water 
followed me, and the more I shrunk the more it spread. 

" Then I thought it would be better if I turned over, 
but in turning I let in more water, or rather I suppose I 
made a hollow in the soft ground, and that was just old 
pie for the water. When I turned I exposed my neck 
and got a touch of it there, and so it went on ; at every 
move I got more and more of it. By the end of an hour 
or so, which seemed all night, I was fairly wet through, 
and then I did n't care half so much about it. I went 
to sleep and slept pretty well till morning, and don't 
believe I 've got a bit of a cold." 

" I had about the same sort of a time with the rain," 
said Harry, " and agree with you that the worst part of 
it is the feeling you have while the rain is getting its way ' 
through your clothes and you 're trying to keep it out ; 
and all the time you know you can't do it, and really 
might just as well give in at once." 


" Never mind now," said Jack ; " what we want is hot 
coffee and sometliing to eat." 

They had taken the precaution to lay away some sticks 
of dry wood in one of the wagons before the rain began, 
and therefore there was no difficulty in starting a fire. 
All the wood that lay around the camp was soaked with 
water, but by careful searching and by ecxually careful 
manipulating of the sticks the soldiers and teamsters 
managed to get up a creditable blaze by using their dry 
wood to start it with. 

Hot coffee all around served to put everybody in good 
humor, and some hard bread and bacon from the com- 
missary wagons made the solid portion of the breakfast. 
Harry had secured some slices of cold beef the day before, 
and these, which he shared with Jack, made a meal fit 
for a king when added to the regular rations that had 
been served out. The rain stopped soon after sunrise, 
the sun came out and in a few hours the roads were dry 
enough to justify the order to move on. Meantime every- 
body was busy drying whatever could be dried, and by 
noon the discomforts of the first night in the rain had 
been pretty well forgotten. 

An hour or two after the column started on the road 
there was an alarm from the front that threw everybody 
into a state of excitement. Rumors were passed from 
man to man, and as they grew with each repetition, they 
became very formidable by the time they reached the 
rear-guard. There was a large force of the enemy block- 
ing the way — a whole army, with cannon enough to blow 
them all out of existence, and possibly to take the offensive 
and march straight to the capital of Iowa. 

Every soldier got his rifle in readiness, the wagons were 
driven closely up, the rear-guard prepared to meet an 
assault that might possibly come in their direction, and 
there was all the "pomp, pride and circumstance of 


glorious war " with the band of untried warriors, few of 
whom had ever smelt gunpowder in a warlike way. 

The excitement grew to fever heat when some shots 
were heard, and evidently indicated the beginning of the 
battle. Jack and Harry wanted to rush to the front of 
the column and take a hand in the affair, but they were 
stopped by the quartermaster, who said they would only 
be in the way, and had better wait a while until the colonel 
sent for them. He ended his suggestion with a peremp- 
tory order that they should not leave the wagons without 

This was a disappointment, but they bore it as patiently 
as they could. They were learning the lesson of military 
life, that the soldier must obey his officer and each officer 
must obey the word of his own superior, no matter what 
it may be. As a consolation to them, and also as an 
illustration of what they must expect in the army, the 
quartermaster told a story about a volunteer officer durmg 
the Mexican war. 

This officer had been ordered to do something that he 
thought highly injudicious. General Scott was standing 

near, and Captain X , as we will call him, appealed to 

the general to know what he should do. 

" Obey the order," was the brief answer of the general. 

" But it 's absurd," replied the captam. " Certainly no 
one should obey an order like that." 

" Always obey your superior officer," responded the 

"But suppose my superior officer orders me to jump 
out of a fourth-story window," interposed the captam, 
" must I do it ? " 

"Certainly," the general answered; "your superior's 
duty is to have a feather-bed there to receive you, and 
you can be sure he '11 have it. That 's a part of his busi- 
ness you have nothing to do with." 


This may sound like exaggeration to the young reader 
who has no knowledge of the ways of military life, but 
let me assure him that it is nothing of the kind. It is a 
principle of army discipline that a soldier or officer should 
unhesitatingly obey the orders he receives without asking 
for explanations. On the battlefield, regiments, brigades, 
divisions, are sent as the commander desires for the pur- 
poses of carrying out his combinations and plans. It can 
readily be seen that all discipline would be gone and the 
combinations and plans could not be carried out if each 
subordinate commander required an explanation of the 
reason why he was dispatched in a particular direction or 
ordered to do a certain thing. Now and then there is an 
opportunity which an officer embraces for acting on his 
own hook without orders, but the experienced officer al- 
ways hesitates lest he lays himself open to censure, and 
possibly court-martial and punishment, as he surely would 
if subsequent events showed his action to have been 
injudicious or disastrous. 

The battle turned out to be no battle at all — only a 
skirmish with some bushwhackers, in which a dozen 
shots or so were exchanged and nobody was hurt. The 
advance of the column had come upon a group of men, 
some mounted and others on foot, near a bend in the road 
where a small stream was crossed. The sight of the 
soldiers had disturbed the group ; those who had horses 
rode away as fast as they could go, while the fellows on 
foot made the best of their way into the bushes, where 
they sought concealment. They did not obey the order 
to halt, whereupon a few shots were fired at them, which 
they returned. 

The shots only served to quicken their pace, and in a 
very short time nothing was to be seen of the fugitives. 
The quartermaster explained to the youths that the term 
" bushwhacker " was applied to the men who were strag- 


gling about the country with arms m their hands, and 
did not appear to belong to any regularly-organized body 
of soldiery. 

" Missouri," said he, " is full of bushwhackers, and 
there '11 be more of 'em as the war goes on. They 're not 
to be feared by a regularly-organized force, but can make 
the roads quite unsafe for ordinary travel. The trouble is, 
a man may be a peaceful farmer one day, a bushwhacker 
the next, and a peaceful farmer again on the third. The 
rebels encourage this sort of fighting, as it will compel us 
to maintain a large force to keep the roads open as we 
advance into the south." 




Let us now return to General Lyon, whom we left at 
Jefferson City, which he had occupied without opposition. 
The union men gave him a hearty welcome, while the 
secessionists received him with many a frown. 

Major Conant, of General Lyon's staff, visited the pen- 
itentiary, which was full of convicts, who cheered heartily 
as he entered. They liad hoped to be liberated when the 
rebels left town, and no doubt would have been willing 
to enter the service as a condition of getting outside the 
stone walls that surrounded them. They had been sepes- 
sion in sentiment, but finding the rebels had gone without 
them they suddenly clianged their politics and shouted 
lustily for the Union when the ofBcer representing the 
authority of the United States came among them. A few 
only held out and cheered for Jeff Davis and Governor 
Jackson, probably for the reason that they believed in 
secession, and especially in secession from where they 
were. There was gloom all around when they found that 
General Lyon had no intention of setting them free, and 
that the sole object of the visit of Major Conant was to 
see that the prison was properly guarded, and ascertain 
that no work on behalf of the rebels was being carried on 

The editor of the Exmmner^ a newspaper wliich liad 
been advocating secession in the most violent manner, 


called upon General Lyon, and said he had been a union 
man always, and was in favor of keeping the state in the 
Union, though he had thought differently only a short time 
before. There were several cases of equally sudden conver- 
sion, but the general did not consider these professions-of 
patriotism anything more than skin deep, Missouri was 
full of men of this sort^men who were in favor of the 
rebellion at heart, but in presence of the Union flag were 
the most profound unionists that the country ever saw. 

As soon as it was positively known that the fleeing 
rebels had decided to make a stand at Booneville, which 
was about forty miles from Jefferson City, General Lyon 
started in pursuit of them. Loading his troops on three 
steamboats, with the exception of three companies of 
infantry, which were left to hold possession of Jefferson 
City, he started up the Missouri early on the afternoon of 
Sunday, June sixteenth, and by sunset reached a point ten 
or twelve miles below Booneville, where it was decided to 
tie up for the night. Bright and early the next morning 
the steamers moved on, and were brought to the bank of 
the river six or seven miles below Booneville. 

The rebels had formed a camp, known as Camp Vest, 
about half-way between this landing-place and the town, 
and as they had several cannon there, it was not deemed 
advisable to move the steamboats within their range 
until the infantry or artillery of the land forces had made 
a demonstration. 

In the gray of the morning the troops were landed, and 
the bank of the river presented a scene to which it was quite 
unaccustomed. Offlcers were hurrying about here and 
there ; companies were endeavormg to assemble, as they 
had become a good deal scattered in the hurry of getting 
on shore ; the artillery was dragged up the steep slope of 
the bank with a vast deal of shouting on the part of the 
drivers, including a liberal amount of language that is not 


usually found in theological works ; the saddle-horses of 
the officers danced around in endeavoring to show their 
satisfaction at getting on land again, and some of them 
escaped from the orderlies who were holding them and 
were retaken with difficulty. Altogether it was a picture 
long to be remembered by those who saw it. 

There was no cavalry in the expedition, with the excep- 
tion of General Lyon's body-guard of eight or ten Ger- 
mans who had been specially enlisted for this purpose. 
These men, previous to their enlistment, had been em- 
ployed in a butchering establishment in St. Louis. The 
story got abroad that German butchers had been enlisted 
for the Union army, and, as usual, it was magnified with 
each repetition until it seemed that every man who wore 
the national uniform was a professional spiller of blood. 
Out of this circumstance grew the most terrific predictions 
as to what the butchers would do when they got possession 
of a place or marched through any part of the state, and 
it was for this reason, among others, that so many people 
fled in terror when they heard that the Union army was 
coming. General Lyon's butchers were as well behaved as 
the most fastidious commander could desire ; they were 
good soldiers, obedient to their commander, and would 
not harm a fly except in the performance of their legiti- 
mate duty. 

Before seven o'clock in the morning the column was in 
motion, the cavalry squad in advance and skirmishers 
thrown out for half a mile or so on either side. Very soon 
after leaving the landing-place the road ascended a series 
of undulating hills or ridges, and the advance had not 
gone far on this road before the pickets of the enemy 
were driven in. Then one of the cavalrymen rode hastily 
back and said that the whole force of the state troops 
were drawn up on one of the ridges only a few hun- 
dred yards away. The battle was about to begin ! 


The regular soldiers and the First Missouri were ordered 
forward, the rest of the volunteer regiments were held in 
reserve, and the battery commanded by Captain Totten 
took position in the middle of the road on one of the 
ridges in full view of the enemy on the other side of a 
wheat-field that filled the greater part of the hollow from 
ridge to ridge. On the ridge held by the enemy the road 
was filled with horsemen, while the men on foot were de- 
ployed to right and left, slightly protected by fences that 
divided the fields. 

Captain Totten unlimbered a twelve-pounder gun and 
sent a shell right in the midst of the group of horsemen 
in the road. 

To say that the shell kicked up a great dust is to 
describe the result very mildly. It not only kicked up a 
dust but it set all the horses to kicking up, and though it 
did not kill anybody, as far as was afterwards ascertained, 
it emptied a dozen saddles by the rearing and plunging 
of the steeds. None of them had ever seen anything of 
the kind before. It takes a hardened old horse to stand an 
exploding shell, and even then there's some doubt as to 
whether he will be quiet under such trying circumstances. 

The opening shot of the artillery was rapidly followed 
by others, and then the small-arms added their noise to 
the firing. Of course the rebels by this time were doing 
their best, and the bullets flew thickly, but as is always 
the case in battle, most of them were aimed too high. 
Here and there a man was wounded, but as General Lyon 
had ordered all who were not actually engaged to keep 
out of range no harm was done outside the fighting line, 
and even there the bloodshed was slight. 

In twenty minutes from the time the first shot was 

fired the rebels were in full retreat and the unionists were 

following them. Not only were the rebels in retreat, but 

they were scattered and a good deal demoralized. In jus- 



tice to them it should be said that no commander ever yet 
existed who could keep his men completely together in 
time of flight under an enemy's fire. Of course veterans 
will act better than green troops, but even the hardiest of 
veterans will straggle under such circumstances. 

The fugitives made no stand until they reached their 
camp, and even there they did not tarry long. A few 
rounds of bullets and some shots from the artillery set 
them again in flight, which was considerably aided by one 
of the steamboats that had moved up from the landing- 
place and fired two or three rounds from a howitzer just 
as it reiiched a point opposite the camp. " Cannon to 
right of them, cannon to left of them, cannon in front of 
them," as the Light Brigade had at Balaklava, was too 
much for the rebel troops to stand. 

There was something ludicrous in the appearance of 
the camp, as it bore evidence of a very hasty departure on 
the part of its late occupants. Meat was in the frying- 
pans on the fire, half-baked beans filled the camp-ovens, 
and pots of unboiled coffee were standing ready for the 
attention of the cook. On the ground lay a ham with a 
slice half severed and a knife still sticking in the meat. 
The camp-chest of some of the ofiicers was all spread for 
breakfast, but those who had expected to take their morn- 
ing meal there were now in rapid flight for safety. 

A cooked breakfast should not be wasted, so some of 
our fellows thought, and they set about devouring what 
the fugitives had left. Tents were standing, piles of pro- 
visions were heaped up, a good many rifles and other 
weapons were scattered on the ground, and altogether the 
captors made a satisfactory seizure. One of the oflBcers 
found several hundred dollars in a trunk in one of the 
tents and thoughtfully put the money in his pocket, in 
order, as he said, to hand it to the owner in case he should 
ever meet and recognize him. 




There were no horses in camp, but there were many 
saddles, an indication that tlie camp was evacuated so 
hastily that tliere was not time to put the accouterments 
on the steeds, wliere tliey belonged. The saddles came 
handy to the civilian attaches of the expedition, and so did 
the blankets and a good many other things that had been 
left behind. A company of infantry was left in charge of 
the camp, and then the rest of the column pressed on in 

Outside the town there was another brief halt, caused 
by the presence of a small company of mounted men, who 
evidently acted as a rear-guard, and with whom a few 
shots were exchanged. Some of the dignitaries of Boone- 
ville came out to surrender the place and beg that private 
property should be respected, and while they were parley- 
ing with General Lyon and Colonel Blair two steamboats 
left the landing in front of Booneville and steamed up the 
river. They carried the greater part of the fleeing rebels, 
the remainder making their escape by land along the river 

And so ended the battle of Booneville. The losses on 
the Union side were three killed and ten wounded ; on 
the rebel side the number of casualties was never posi- 
tively known, owing to the fact that many of the state 
troops fled directly to their homes and stayed there, or at 
all events were not heard from again. Eight or ten 


were known to have been killed, and about twenty 

A year or two later an affair of this sort would have 
been regarded merely as a roadside skirmish, but at that 
time it was an occurrence of great moment. From one 
end of the country to the other the account of it was pub- 
lished, and it has become known to history as an impor- 
tant battle. Politically it was of great consequence, as it 
was the first battle fought in Missouri, if we leave out of 
consideration the incidents of Camp Jackson and the day 
after, which cainiot be regarded as battles in any sense. 
It was the first trial of strength between the state author- 
ities of Missouri and the national government, and as a 
trial of strength it showed the power of the United States 
and the resources and abilities of the government better 
than could have been done by a whole volume of proc- 

Disciplined troops were brought face to face with raw 
recruits who had not received even the rudiments of mili- 
tary instruction. Many of them were not even organized 
into companies, but had come together hastily at the call 
of the governor, and on the day of the battle were trying 
to fight " on their own hook." And they learned the les- 
son which is generally taught under such circumstances 
— that such a hook is a very poor one to fight on. 

The greenness of the men is shown by some of the inci- 
dents of the day. Reverend William A. Pile, the chap- 
lain of the First Missouri, was a muscular Christian, who 
showed such a fondness for fighting that he afterward 
went into the service and gained the rank of brigadier- 
general before the war was over. At Booneville he was 
assigned to look after the wounded, and for this purpose 
was given command of four soldiers, two of them from 
the mounted escort of General Lyon, and two infantrymen 
from the First Missouri. 


While looking about the field after the rebels had been 
put to flight, the chaplain came suddenly upon a group of 
men who seemed uncertain what to do. Most of them 
had rifles and shotguns, and might have made it very un- 
comfortable for the man of religion. 

He hesitated not a moment, but drew his revolver. He 
was mounted on a good horse, one of the steeds taken in 
the early part of the battle, and had all the dignity of a 
captain of cavalry. 

Ordering his two cavalrymen to accompany him, and 
telling the infantrj^ column — of two men — to follow as 
fast as they could, he dashed up to the group and pre- 
sented his pistol as though about to fire. 

" Throw down your arms and surrender ! " the chaplain 
commanded, in a voice like the roaring of a young bull. 

The men dropped their arms to the ground, and stood 
ill that dazed attitude with which a cow looks at a rail- 
way train. 

" About face, march ! " shouted the chaplain, anxious to 
get the fellows away from their weapons before they had 
time to collect their senses and make it uncomfortable 
for their would-be captors. 

Mechanically the men obeyed, and when they were at a 
good distance from the guns that had been left on the 
ground he halted them to give his infantry a chance to 
come up and help surround the prisoners. 

The infantry came up, and the prisoners, twenty-four 
in all, were duly " surrounded " and marched into camp, 
where they were placed among others of their late com- 
rades-in-arms. Twenty-four armed men surrounded and 
captured by four soldiers and a chaplain is an occurrence 
not often known in war. The prisoners were mostly 
beardless youths, who had little appreciation of what war 
was or is. Only the rawest of soldiers could be captured 
in this way and brought safely into the lines, and it re- 


quired all the audacity of which the chaplain was capable 
to carry out his enterprise. 

Booneville was entered in triumph, and there was great 
excitement among the inhabitants, many of whom ex- 
pected to be murdered in cold blood after witnessing the 
pillaging of their houses and the destruction of everything 
that the " Yankee thieves " did not desire to carry away. 
The poorer part of the population was generally loyal, 
while the wealthier iidiabitants were nearly all in favor 
of secession. There were some rich people who were 
stanch supporters of the Union, but they had a hard time 
of it among their more numerous secession neighbors. 

A considerable quantity of rebel stores and arms were 
taken at Booneville and in the neighborhood, and alto- 
gether the forces that were arrayed under the secession 
banner suffered a heavy loss in things that were valuable 
to them. The hiding-places of these valuables were pointed 
out by union men, who in some instances desired their 
identity concealed for fear of the vengeance that would be 
visited upon them after the national troops should go 
away. They complained that they had been very badly 
treated, and several of them had been given a certain 
number of days in which to close up their affairs and 
leave town. Their time of probation had not ended when 
the battle and its result rendered their departure a 
matter which the rebels were not exactly able to con- 

General Lyon issued a proclamation, in which he briefly 
recited the events of the past week and warned the people 
not to take up arms against the government. He advised 
all who had been in arms to go to their homes, and prom- 
ised that all who would do so and remain quietly at- 
tending to their own business, should not be disturbed 
for past offenses. The proclamation had a good effect, 
and the number recently under arms who went home and 


stayed there was by no means small. Unhappily it was 
more than offset by those who responded to the summons 
of the governor and went to follow the fortunes of the 
army that he was organizing. 

Preparations were now made for an advance into the 
southwest part of the state, as it was understood that the 
rebels would attempt to make a stand there, where they 
would be assisted by the troops that the Confederate gov- 
ernment was sending to help in getting Missouri out of 
the Union. 

General Sweeney was ordered to march from Rolla to 
Springfield, and at the same time General Lyon would 
move from Booneville toward the same point. Simultane- 
ously a column under ]\Iajor Sturgis was to advance from 
Leavenworth, Kansas, through the western part of Mis- 
souri, and the three columns were to unite near Spring- 
field and endeavor to cut off and disperse the rebels that 
were concentrating with a view to taking the offensive. 
This was the plan, but owing to the absence of railways 
it could not be carried out in a hurry. 

The First Iowa reached Booneville shortly after the bat- 
tle, and most of its officers and soldiers were greatly dis- 
appointed to think they could not have had a hand in the 

Jack and Harry had their first view of the Missouri 
river from the bank opposite Booneville, and M'ere greatly 
interested in studying the mighty stream as the ferryboat 
carried them across. 

As he looked at the yellow flood pouring along with 
the rapidity which is one of its characteristics. Jack re- 
marked : 

" I understand now why they call it ' The Big Muddy,' 
as it is certainly the muddiest river I ever saw." 

" Yes," replied Harry ; " but I don't believe it is as bad 
as Senator Benton said of it, ' too thick to swim in, but 


not thick enough to walk on.' Anyhow, we '11 settle that 
question by having a swim the first chance we get." 

They had their swim, but though they verified the in- 
correctness of the distinguished senator's assertion, they 
decided that one must be very dirty indeed to be benefited 
by a bath in the Missouri ; and they readily believed what 
they were told by a resident of Booneville, that in the 
time of flood you can get an ounce of solid matter out of 
every eight ounces of water from the river. 

" Look on the map of the United States," said their ni- 
formant, " and see how the Mississippi river has pushed 
the delta through which its mouths empty into the Gulf 
of Mexico. The land that is formed there has been brought 
down by the water that fills the channel of the river ; 
some of it comes from the lower Mississippi, but probably 
the greater part is from the valley of the Missouri." 





Jack and Harry were pretty busily employed about the 
camp for the first two or three days following their arrival 
at Booneville. After that time they had more leisure, and 
were greatly interested in many matters that came under 
their observation. 

One of the first things to arouse their curiosity was the 
camp of the regular soldiers that formed a part of General 
Lyon's expedition. When they heard of this part of the 
force they wanted to know what a " regular " soldier 

" They are called regulars," the quartermaster explained, 
" because they belong to the regular army which the coun- 
try maintains in times of peace. Compared with the 
volunteer army, the regulars are few in number, but as 
long as we have only Indians to contend with they are quite 
enough for all practical purposes. In time of peace our 
regular army includes only twenty thousand men, but in 
case of war the president calls on the different states to 
send volunteer troops to the field in such number as may 
be wanted. The president called for troops to put down 
the rebellion, and the states that remained loyal to the 
Union have sent the number required of them in propor- 
tion to their population." 

" That 's what is meant by the ' quota ' of each state, I 
suppose," said Jack. 


" Yes," was the reply. " The quota of a state is made 
out according to its population, and there have been some 
funny complications arising out of this point. In order 
to have as many representatives in Congress as jiossible, 
and for other reasons, some of the new states have been 
overstating their population, or claiming more inhabitants 
than they really have. Now, when it comes to furnish- 
ing troops on the same basis, they are trying to under- 
state their population, and declare that they made mis- 
takes in their previous figures." 

" It is like a man claiming to be rich in order to obtain 
credit or ' show off,' and then pleading poverty as a reason 
for not paying his debts." 

" That 's exactly the case," was the reply. " You could 
not have made a better illustration." 

Neither Jack nor Harry could see that there was any 
great difference between the camp of the regulars and that 
of the volunteers, excepting that the former seemed to be 
under more rigid discipline. When it came to drilling 
and performing the evolutions necessary to military life it 
was evident that the regulars were greatly the superiors, 
but the youths naturally concluded that it was simply a 
question of experience. " These regulars," said Jack, 
" have been a long v/hile in the service, and had nothing 
to do except to learn their business. Wait till the volun- 
teers have been the same time under arms, and they '11 
come out just as good soldiers." 

"Right you are," said the quartermaster, who over- 
heard the remark. " It takes time and practice to make 
a soldier ; the raw recruit may be just as brave as the 
veteran, but one veteran is worth as much as a dozen 
raw recruits, for the simple reason that he has been drilled 
and disciplined." 

The youths talked with some of the regulars, and found 
that they had not troubled themselves much about the 


causes of the war nor the questions mvolved in the con- 
test. The most they knew was that they were enlisted to 
serve under the government. They were there to obey 
the orders of their officers, and that was the whole 

It was the same with some of the regular oflBcers when 
the war broke out, but by no means with all. Some of 
them treated the question of loyalty as altogether a 
matter over which they had no control ; they were to 
support the government, and had no occasion to trouble 
themselves about political questions. Others entered 
into the political bearings of the subject, and were swayed 
according to their predilections. Those born and reared 
in the Northern states adhered to the national cause 
almost to a man, and served according to the best of 
their abilities, while the majority of those who came from 
the Southern states considered themselves bound to go as 
did their states. These men resigned their commissions 
in the army and entered the service of the Confederacy, 
though there were some who felt that while they could 
not fight against their native states, it would not be com- 
patible with honor for them to take arms against the 
national government. These officers remained neutral 
throughout the war, some of them staying quietly at home, 
while others went abroad to be out of the reach of dis- 
turbing influences. 

It was a noticeable circumstance that the spirit of 
loyalty to the government was stronger among the 
enlisted soldiers of the regular army than among the 
officers, in proportion to their numbers. In the instances 
where the forts and arsenals in the Southern states were 
treacherously surrendered to the secessionists at the 
beginning of the war, nearly all the soldiers refused to 
serve against the government, even when their officers 
urged them to do so. 


Preparations for the march into the southwestern part 
of Missouri were pushed as rapidly as possible, but the 
difficulty of getting together the necessary wagons and 
animals for transportation purposes consumed a fortnight 
of valuable time. This time was utilized by the state 
authorities, who gathered several thousand men at Lex- 
ington and marched thence in the direction of the 
Arkansas frontier, where they were to meet the famous 
Texan i-anger, Ben McCulloch, who was to come north to 
join them. In spite of all his activity General Lyon was 
not able to get away from Booneville in season to head 
off General Price and the rebels that were serving under 

But the rebels came near meeting another obstacle 
that they did not know of. General Sweeney, with the 
brigades of Generals Sigel and Saloman, marched from 
Rolla in the direction of Springfield, and so quickly did 
he move that Price had no knowledge of his advance. 
As soon as he reached Springfield General Sweeney sent 
General Sigel westward in the direction of Carthage to 
head off the rebels who were supposed to be under com- 
mand of Price. The fact was the latter general had 
already gone south with his escort to meet Ben McCulloch ; 
the state troops which General Sigel was trying to cut off 
were consequently headed by Governor Jackson in person. 

The two forces met each other on the fifth of July not 
far from Carthage and fought a battle which was very 
much like the one of Booneville in the extent of its casu- 
alities, though less successful for the Union cause. Sigel's 
command was only about one-fourth the number of those 
opposed to him ; nearly two thousand of the rebels were 
mounted men, although very few of them had any weapons 
whatever, a fact which was unknown to the union com- 
mander. When he saw this great force pressing on his 
flanks, he naturally supposed his column to be in danger, 


and prudently gave the order to retire from the field. 
The retirement was effected in good order, and though 
the rebels pursued a few miles they inflicted no damage. 
The collision delayed the movements of the rebels toward 
the southwest, though it did not prevent it, and the 
elation which they felt over the repulse of the enemy was 
more than an offset for the delay. 

On the march from Booneville to Springfield strict 
orders were given that there should be no depredating 
on private property, the rights of every citizen being 
fully respected. The order was very well obeyed, but 
it was impossible to carry it out to its fullest extent. 
Chickens that did not roost high had a habit of disappear- 
ing at night and never turning up again except in the 
stewpans of some of the soldiers or possibly in those of 
the officers ; pigs that strayed from their pens when the 
army was about did not readily get back again, but on 
the whole there was not much cause of remonstrance on 
the part of the inhabitants. 

The most serious complaint was on the part of the 
union men, and certainly they had a right to say some- 
thing on the subject. The situation was expressed in 
this way by one of them who was talking with an officer 
in the presence of Jack and Harry : 

" Look a-here," said the citizen ; " why don't you-'uns 
go and take Jones's corn and potatoes and anything else 
you want ? He 's a secesher of the worst sort, and you 
ought to make him sweat for it. When the state troops 
went through here they took my horses and corn and 
wagons and paid me Avith receipts that I can't sell any- 
where for five cents on the dollar. I tried to get them 
to let me alone, but they said I 'd been saying I was a 
union man, and if I was I'd got to help support the war, 
and they 'd take everything I had. They did n't touch 
Jones, because he 's on their side. 


" The rebels come along and plunder the union men, 
but when you-'uns come you don't touch the seceshers 
nor anybody else, except to pay in clean cash for what 
you want. It 's a one-sided business anyhow, and if it 
keeps on I '11 have to turn secesh to save myself." 

This was actually the case for some time in Missouri 
and other border-states, and there is no doubt that many 
men who were in favor of the Union at the start became 
rebels in course of time in order to save their property. 
After a while affairs were changed and the men who were 
on the side of the rebellion had to suffer when our armies 
came in their vicinity. The property of all was seized 
wherever wanted. A union man was compensated for 
his loss, while a pronounced rebel had great difficulty in 
securing compensation, and very often did not get any- 
thing whatever. 

Later in the war Jack and Harry became known for 
their expertness in foraging, and many were the chickens 
and pigs that fell into their hands. They had splendid 
noses for scenting game, and when they could not find 
anything edible in a section of country it was pretty 
certain that the region had already been swept bare. 

The skill acquired by our soldiers in catching " game " 
is well illustrated in the way they used to take pigs 
while marching at will along the road. A pig would 
make its appearance by the roadside along which a regi- 
ment was making its way. Some of the foremost men 
would throw out a few grains of corn, and, at the same 
time word would be passed along the line and several of 
the men in the rear would fix their bayonets on their 
guns. Piggy, all unsuspicious, would be tolled by the 
corn close to the roadside, and as the rear soldiers came 
along two of them transfixed the creature through the 
neck with a bayonet and swung him in the air. He was 
caught in the arms of two other soldiers, who speedily 


disemboweled him, and then cut up and distributed the 
meat. It was all done without breaking out of the line 
of march, and was characterized by the oflScers as a 
" wonderful triumph of mind over matter." 

Chickens were the favorite plunder of food-seeking 
soldiers, partly on account of their toothsome character 
and partly in view of their portability. Pigs and sheep 
came next in the line of desirable things, as they could 
be subdivided with ease and if necessary with great 





Our young friends were not long in receiving tlie pro- 
motion they desired and certainly deserved. From being 
mere attaches, or as Jack expressed it, "adjutants," of 
the wagon-train they were raised to the dignity of drivers 
each having a team of his own. It was a promotion 
at which they were greatly elated, though it brought 
additional responsibilities and hard work. 

Shortly after leaving Booneville one of the regular 
drivers fell ill and was left behind. His place was given 
to Harry, who had shown himself fairly competent to fill 
it in spite of his youth, and also in spite of his lack of that 
accomplishment of the ordinary teamster, a familiarity 
Avith profanity. We have already alluded to this pecul- 
iarity of the average driver, and the faith possessed by 
many people that mules and oxen cannot be successfully 
managed except by an expert in swearing. But Harry 
got around the difficulty nicely and very much to his 

His education was not extensive, and had been confined 
to the ordinary branches of the common school. He was 
proficient in the three li's : " reading, 'riting and 'rith- 
metic," and had made a fair start in grammar and geog- 
raphy. While wondering what to do in order to be al)le to 
drive a mule team successfully, and at the same time avoid 
falling into the use of profanity, he hit upon an idea which 



Capturing a Rebel Flag. 

Page 37 


is commended to all readers of this narrative under similar 

He picked out the hardest names he could remember in 
his geographical studies and determined to make them 
the means of propelling obstinate animals and inducing 
them to pull properly when pulling was desired. With 
the permission of one of the regular drivers he practiced 
on the teams and found his plan Avorked ver}' well ; so 
well, in fact, that it received the commendation of the 
chaplain and of the colonel of the regiment, and further- 
more, the team seemed to enjoy it. 

" Sebastopol " was one of his favorite expletives, and 
when he hurled it at a mule, hissing the first syllable 
through his teeth and giving full vent to his voice on the 
last, that mule was sure to do his very best until the load 
moved or the harness gave way. In the same manner he 
found " Calcutta " an expletive of great power, and so was 
" Nagasaki " and also " St. Petersburg." When he wanted 
something of unusual strength for a momentous occasion 
he informed his obstinate animals that " Vienna is the 
Capital of Austria," or "the Dutch have taken Holland." 
Nothing could surpass the efforts of the team when these 
phrases were thrown into the elongated ears of the un- 
schooled mules. 

Harry imparted his plan to Jack, and when that youth 
was shortly afterward put in charge of a team which had 
been hired at Booneville for the trip to Springfield, he 
repeated the experiment. It did not work as well as in 
Harry's case, but the reason was found in the fact that 
Jack's mules were of Missouri origin and proverbially 
ignorant, while those of Harry had come all the way from 
Iowa, and had the benefit of a northern training. While 
the Northern mules might be supposed to have a thirst 
for travel that would make geographical facts sink deep 
into their hearts, those of the more southern state were 


content to remain in their ignorance, and, like Jeff Davis, 
" all they asked was to be let alone." 

" You 're saying that in joke, of course," remarked the 
quartermaster when Jack explained the reason of the 
difference in the animals of the two states. " But let me 
tell you," he continued, " that you 're nearer fact than 
you suppose. 'Like master like man' is an old adage, 
and why should n't a Missouri mule be like a Missouri 
man '? As a general thing the Missouri people have op- 
posed everything that tended to the development of the 
state. I refer to the slaveholding portion, or those who 
sympathize with slavery, though they may have no slaves 
of their own." 

" How was that ? " 

" They were afraid it would interfere with their system 
of slavery, as they saw it would bring in a population that 
believed in freedom instead of the old state of things. 
When the Butterfield Overland Stage Line was established 
from St. Louis to California they tried all they could to 
stop it ; they declared it was n't needed ; and they did 
the same when the Western Union Telegraph Co. wanted 
to build a line across the state. They opposed the rail- 
ways that have been built in various parts of the state, 
and for the same reason, notwithstanding the fact that 
the railways would make their land more valuable by 
bringing them nearer a market. I have lived in Missouri 
and know what I 'm talking about. 

" Education has always been much more backward in 
the South than in the North, as everybody knows, and it 
is the system of slavery that caused this backwardness. 
Travel through the Northern states and you see a school- 
house in every village and almost at every cross-road, but 
in the South you may go hundreds of miles without seeing 
a school-house. This one fact speaks volumes in itself and 
illustrates the conditions growing out of slavery on the 


one liand and freedom on the other. A people that do 
not want education do not want railways and telegraphs, 
or anything- else that indicates progress. Only when the 
Sontli gets ]-id of slavery will it wake up and adopt the 
institutions of the North." 

Regarding the South in the light of the present day, 
the words uttered by the quartermaster may be regarded 
as prophetic. It is only since the war wiped away the 
stain of slavery that the Southern states have vied with 
the North in developing their resources and have sought 
to have a really intelligent iDopulation. Before the war 
education was confined chiefly to the rich or the well-to- 
do, the majority of the poor whites being but little above 
the negro in the scale of intelligence. Thousands on 
thousands of them were unable to read or write, and those 
who could do so had little knowledge of the rest of the 

Our young friends had frequent opportunities to test 
the intelligence of the natives of the region through which 
they were traveling, and many of their experiences were 
anuising. One day they talked witli a farmer who had 
an impression that St. Louis was the largest city in the 
world, and practically the only one. He had heard of 
New York and Chicago, but had no clear idea of their 
location except that they were somewhere in the North, 
and did not believe they amounted to much anyway. He 
thought Abraham Lincoln was a black man, who had 
somehow been made president of the United States by the 
abolitionists, and if his armies succeeded in conquering 
the South the government would be altogetlier in the 
hands of the blacks, who would speedily proceed to en- 
slave the rest of the population and " have white men for 

Several times they talked with men and women who 
were much surprised to find tiie Yankee soldiers were 


white men ; they had expected to see only negroes, and 
especially thought it strange that the officers were white 
instead of black. A woman at whose house they stopped 
to get a drink of water said she did n't mind the white 
soldiers, but when it came to the black republicans she 
w^ould n't be able to endure them. 

" Why, we are black republicans, madam ; or would be if 
we could vote," said Jack. 

" No, you can't be," was the reply ; " you 're just as 
white as we-'uns if you 'd only wash your faces," 

The boys good-naturedly enlightened her on the subject 
by explaining that the term " black republicans " was a 
derisive one, which 'the Democrats had applied to the 
Republican party, and had no reference to the complexion 
of those who voted the Republican ticket. They were not 
sure that they had convinced her, though they certainly 
raised doubts in her mind when she saw the hundreds 
and thousands of men that inarched past the place, and all 
of them anything but negroes. 

Another time they were less successful, as the native 
whom they sought to instruct pointed triumphantly to 
the colored servant of one of the officers, who was mounted 
on a spare horse belonging to his employer. 

"Don't talk to me that way," was the angry retort, 
" when there 's one of your generals, a regular nigger, on 
a black horse." 

The joke was too good to be kept, and that evening it 
was circulated through the camp. It caused a great deal 
of laughter, and for some days the servant who had been 
the innocent cause of the mistake Avas addressed by his as- 
sociates as " general." 

There was no fighting on the march from Booneville to 
Springfield, as the state forces under Governor Jackson 
and (Tcneral Price were on their line of march consider- 
ably farther west, and had a good start. They were being 


followed by a column from Leavenworth, under command 
of Major Sturgis, but the pursuers were not able to over- 
take them, being delayed at the crossing of a river which 
lay on their route. It had been hoped that the rebels 
would be caught between the two columns of Sturgis and 
Sweeney, and if they bad been thus caught there was an 
excellent chance of a Union victory. 

As the days wore on after the arrival of the Union 
forces at Springfield, the most important town of south- 
western Missouri, the situation became critical. It was 
known that General Price had formed a camp at Cowskin 
Prairie, near the southwest corner of tlie state, to wait for 
the reinforcements that Avere promised by the Confederacy, 
and it was soon learned that these reinforcements had 
arrived and Price was about to move on Springfield. 

Altogether General Lyon had about six thousand men 
under his command, but many of them were enlisted for 
only three months ; the expiration of the time of some of 
them was fast approaching, and others were already free 
to go home. 

General Fremont had been placed in command of the 
department, and to him General Lyon sent an earnest 
appeal for reinforcements, saying he would be compelled 
to retreat unless troops were sent to him. The desired 
troops were promised, but before they started the rebels 
threatened Cairo in Illinois, and the regiments destined 
for General Lyon were sent there instead of going to 
southwestern Missouri, as originally intended. 

Lyon Avas receiving no reinforcements, while Price was 
gaining in strength and adding to the effectiveness of his 
men. About the twentieth of July Lyon's force was 
weakened by the departure of two regiments of three- 
months' men whose time had expired, while tlie time of 
the First Iowa (the regiment to wliich Jack and Harry 
were attached ) would be out early in August. No wonder 


General Lyon was troubled in mind, and that he sent 
urgent appeals to General Fremont for innnediate aid. 

News came tliat the rebels were advancing upon Spring- 
field and that a great battle was imminent. Jack and 
Harry were jubilant at the promise of fighting, but older 
ones shook their heads and looked serious. The secession 
inhabitants of Springfield were rejoicing over the prospect 
of soon being rid of their Yankee visitors ; they could not 
conceal their delight, and this circumstance convinced the 
thoughtful ones among the unionists that the coming 
clash of arms would be anything but a light one. 




On the first of August General Lyon marched out on 
the road to the southwest and in the direction where the 
enemy was supposed to be ; in fact, where it was positively 
known that he could be found. Most of the wagons were 
left behind, and among- them WTre those driven by Jack 
and Harry. Not wishing to miss the chance of seeing a 
battle, those enterprising youths accompanied the column 
by permission of their regimental quartermaster, and under 
promise to return whenever word reached them that they 
were wanted. 

August is a hot month in that part of the country ; in 
fact, it is a hot month, as everybody knows, from one end 
ot the United States to the other. Only a few miles were 
made on the first day's march from Springfield, but those 
few miles witnessed the exhaustion of many of the soldiers. 
The next day the column moved on to a place known as 
" Dug Spring," probably to distinguish it from the natural 
springs which abound through that country. And the 
heat of that day was something terrific. 

Scores of men, overcome by the sultry atmosphere, 
dropped out of the line of march and fell exhausted by the 
roadside, where some of them died from the elTects of sun- 
stroke. Water was to be found only at long intervals, 
and when found the springs were soon rendered muddy 
or were completely exhausted by the crowds that rushed 
into them. 


In southwest Missouri, as in many parts of tlie southern 
states, the spring- wliicli supplies a residence is covered 
Ayith a frame building eight or ten feet square, and known 
as the springhouse. There are very few cellars in that 
region, and the springhouse is used for preservhig milk, 
meat and other articles requiring the lowest attainable tem- 
perature in the absence of ice. The spring that gave the 
name to the locality in question was of this sort, and a 
small stream of water flowed from it perpetually, and 
probably is flowing still. To realize what happened there, 
let us quote from a letter which Harry wrote that evening 
to his mother : 

" My Dear Mother : I have known wliat it was to be A^ery thirsty, 
but until to-day I never knew what it was to suffer — actually suf- 
fer — for want of water, thougli I have often thought I knew. It 
was one of the hottest days I ever saw in ni}^ life ; tlie road was 
just one long line of dust, as no rain had fallen for some time and 
the ground was perfectly dry. We had a little skirmishing with 
the rebels in front of us, but it was very evident that we only met 
small scouting parties of them, as they fell back very soon after 
we met them. But so much did the men suffer for want of water 
that they didn't care for the enemy, and would have risked their 
lives for a cooling drink from a brook or spring. 

' ' We had left Wilson's Creek and Tyrol's Creek behind us ; they 
are little streams or brooks that ordinai'ily contain onlj^ a few inches 
of water, but are said to be small rivers in their way when heavy 
rains fall. We went several miles without water, and at length 
the head of the column reached a large spring, Avliich they told us 
was made by digging in the low ground, and for this reason it was 
called Dug Spring. 

' ' Of course the first men that came to it rushed into the little 
springhouse to quench their thirst and fill their canteens, which 
they succeeded in doing. But before they had done so the crowd 
around the building was so dense that those inside could not get 
out ; everybody was frantically seeking for water, water, water, 
and so wild were the men that the officers could not control them. 

" They lifted the springhouse from its foundations and threw it to 
one side, but this didn't help matters any. As fast as the men came 
up and the word was passed that there was a spring there, the 
ranks were broken and all that the officers could do was not enough 
to keep the men in place. Officers and nien struggled together 
for water and all distinctions of rank were lost. 


"The spring \ras soon exhausted and so was a trough close by that 
contained water which liad evidently stood there for some days. 
A pool a little way below the spring, wliere the hogs had wallowed, 
was eagerly sought by the struggling crowd and their feet stirred 
the contents so that it was half mud. Soldiers had a hard struggle 
to fill their canteens with this stuff, and when they had done so 
and came out of the crov.'d they refused to give away a single drop. 
One of the newspaper correspondents says he saw an officer offer 
five dollars to a soldier for a canteen full of this liquid, and the 
soldier refused it, saying he could not get any more and would die 
himself unless he had something to drink. 

' ' By the time Jack and I got to the spring the water was all gone 
and we didn't know what to do, as we were ready to drop with 
thirst. Our tongues were swollen and almost hanging from our 
mouths, and we felt we could not stand it much longer. I dashed 
into the crowd at the spring and saw it was no use ; then I got into 
the other crowd at the pool and tore up two handfuls of the moist 
earth and carried them to one side. Jack did just like me, and we 
managed to squeeze a few di'ops of water out of the earth which 
we liad thus secured. We tried it again, others did the same thing, 
and somehow we managed to get enough to cool our throats just a 

•• We camped this evening on a little creek a few miles further ,on, 
and here we are. Tlie men care little for food ; all they want just 
now is to get enough water to drink. The camp is in great con- 
fusion and if a well-disciplined enemj- should fall on us just now 
it would have a good chance of whipping us. They say the rebels 
are only a little way ahead of us, and perhaps we shall have a fight 
with them to-morrow." 

On the next day there was a skirmish, in which a few 
men were wounded, and the report was that the rebels 
had suffered severely ; but as usual in such cases, especially 
at tlie beginning of the war, tlie rumors were far above 
tlie facts. As an illustration of this tendency we Avill 
take one of the battles of 1861 in whicli tliere were ten 
killed on one side and tliirteen on the other, and about 
forty wounded. The Union commander estimated tlie 
rebel loss "at not less than from three hundred and fifty 
to four hundred," wliile tlie Confederate historians said 
the Union loss was " from one hundred fifty to two hun- 
dred killed, and from three hoiidred to four hundred 
Wounded." One of the best reports of a skirmish was 


that of a commander who wrote, "our loss was nothing; 
the enemy's is not known, but is certainly three times as 
great as our own." 

Twenty-four miles from Springfield General Lyon 
decided to fall back to that town, as he learned that the 
rebels had a force three or four times as great as his own ; 
it turned out that these figures were a good deal exag- 
gerated, but after making the most liberal deductions it 
is certain that they had fully twice his number. He 
reached Spiingfield on the fifth of August, and was more 
disheartened than ever, No reinforcements had come to 
him from General Fremont, and from all indicatious none 
were likely to be sent in time to do him any good. He 
had two alternatives : to fight a battle with great odds 
against him, or to fall back to Rolla, the terminus of the 
railroad, without a fight. 

At a council of his officers it was decided that the moral 
effect of retreating \vitliout a battle would be greater than 
after one ; unless, indeed, the army should be so badly de- 
feated that escape would be impossible. The rebels ad- 
vanced and camped on Wilson's Creek, ten miles from 
Springfield. It has become known since that there was 
a bitter quarrel between General's McCulloch and Price, 
and in consequence of this quarrel the rebels did not come 
at once to attack Springfield. 

McCulloch was carrying out the policy of the Con- 
federate government, which just then did not favor push- 
ing the war into the border states ; while Price wanted to 
take the offensive against the national government and 
push the Union forces quite out of the state of Missouri. 
He was for fighting and pushing on, while McCulloch was 
opposed to anything of the kind ; not on account of cowar- 
dice, be it understood, for he was as brave a soldier as the 
Confederacy produced during the war, but for political 
reasons, which have just been mentioned. He was only 


induced to march upon Springfield by General Price giv- 
ing up the command to him, and furthermore hy the threat 
of the latter that if McCulloch still refused to advance, 
he (Price) would alone advance with his Missourians and 
give battle to the Union forces. 

On the eighth of August Price learned that Lyon was 
fearful of an attack, and was making preparations to 
abandon Springfield. lie urged McCulloch to advance 
at once, but the latter would not do so. On the ninth it 
was decided that an attack would be made on Springfield 
the next day, and the troops were ordered to be in readi- 
ness to move at nine o'clock that night. But the plan 
was changed on account of a slight rain which fell towards 
evening and threatened to continue during the night. 
Many of the Missourians had no cartridge-boxes and were 
obliged to carry their ammunition in their pockets ; con- 
sequently, a rain would have spoiled their cartridges and 
made these soldiers useless in a fight. 

To what slight causes do we often owe the course of 
events ! 

The rain which stopped the Confederate advance did 
not interfere with the plan which General Lyon formed 
during the day after consultation with his officers. It was 
to move out on the night of the ninth and be ready to at- 
tack by daylight on the tenth. The rebels were camped 
along Wilson's Creek for a distance altogether of about 
three miles, and it was not likely that they expected 
General Lyon would seek to trouble them with his greatly 
inferior numbers. As they expected to move at daylight, 
to attack Springfield, they had drawn in their pickets, and 
consequently were not aware of the Union advance until 
it was close upon them. General Lyon's plan was to 
attack both ends of the rebel camp at the same time, 
and for this purpose he divided his forces, sending 
General Sigel with his own and Colonel Solomon's regi- 


ments of infantry, a battery of six guns and two com- 
panies of ]-egular cavalry to attack the right wing of the 
rebels on the east side of the Fayetteville road. At the 
same time he proposed, with the remainder of the Union 
forces, to fall upon the other wing of the enemy's camp. 
The movements were to be so timed that the attack would 
be made at daylight, and General Sigel, in case he got first 
into position, was to wait for the sound of General Lyon's 

On this plan the two forces marched out of Springfield 
on the evening of the ninth. To how many men was that 
the last march, including the brave commander of the 
Union army of southwest Missouri ! 

Each column by midnight had reached a point about 
four miles from the rebel camp, and within sight of some 
of the rebel camp-fires. There the men bivouacked on the 
field, and waited anxiously for the coming dawn. Day- 
light glimmered at length in the east, and, with as much 
silence as is possible to an advancing army, the march was 

TH£ LOST AIi3IY. 77 



Heke is a description of the battlefield of the tenth of 
August, 1861, by a gentleman who was there on that oc- 
casion, and afterward visited the spot when he could do 
so without danger from shells and bullets. 

As you go south from Springfield there is a compara- 
tively level country for several nnles, but in approaching 
the creek which gives the name to the battlefield 
you find a more broken region. The valley of the creek 
is bordered by low hills, and at the time of the fight 
these hills were covered with scrub-oaks, which were 
generally known to the natives as " black-jacks." These 
trees are so thickly scattered in many places that it is im- 
possible to see for any distance, and on the day of the 
battle they masked the movements of the opposing 
armies from each other and led to several surprises. 

The Fayetteville road going south crosses the creek at 
a ford and then runs almost parallel to the course of 
the stream for nearly a mile. On this part of the road and 
along the creek the main body of the Confederates was 
encamped, and the camp extended up a tributary of 
Wilson's Creek known as Skegg's Branch. Between 
Skegg's Branch and its junction with ^Vilson's Creek is a 
steep hill, perhaps a hundred feet high, its sides seamed 
with ravines and its toj:) broken with rocks in many places, 
so that wagons and artillery cannot be freely moved about. 


This was known as Oak Ilill at the time of the battle, and 
has since been called Bloody Hill by the Confederates in 
memory of the slaughter that took place there. It was 
the scene of the principal fighting of the day and of the 
death of General Lyon. 

During the war it often happened that engagements 
were called by different names by the opposing forces. 
Thus the battle now known as that of Shiloh was origin- 
ally called the battle of Pittsburg Landing by the Northern 
side and Shiloh by the South. The battle of Pea Ridge 
was so named by the Northerners, but it was known 
as Elkhorn Tavern by the Soutli. Li the same way 
the battle of Wilson's Creek, as the North knew it, Avas 
the battle of Oak Hill to the South. In fact, it had three 
names, as General Price in his official report called it the 
l)attle of Springfield. 

Oak Hill, or Bloody Hill, was covered with low bushes 
in addition to the scrub-oaks already mentioned, but the 
underbrush was not thick, and did not particularly inter- 
fere with movements of troops or individuals, thougli it 
caused the lines of the soldiers to be considerably broken, 
and furnished a complete screen to men lying down. The 
rebels were camped at the foot of the hill, and its summit 
afl:'orded a good view of the greater part of the Confederate 

General Lyon reached the farther slope of the hill 
before his approach was discovered. His advance was 
first made known to the Missourians, who were camped 
in that vicinity, and whose commander liad sent out a 
picivct about daylight. Tlie fii'st encounter was between 
Captain Plunnner's battalion of regulars and Colonel 
Hunter's Missouri regiment, the latter falling back as their 
commander saw the strength of the forces opposed to him. 
General Lyon advanced as rapidly as jjossible, and soon 
had possession of the crest of the hill. 


The whole force of General Lyon which he had on the 
field on that terrible morning was about live thousand five 
hundred men, of whom one thousand two liundred were 
with General Sigel and three thousand three hundred 
under his own personal direction. General Sigel's forces 
have been enumerated. Those of General Lyon were 
Captain Plumraer's regulars, the batteries of Captains 
Totten and Dubois — ten guns in all. Steel's battalion of 
three hundred regulars, Osterhaus's battalion of volun- 
teer infantry, and the volunteer regiments of the First 
Missouri, First Iowa and First and Second Kansas. Ac- 
cording to their own figures the Confederates were ten 
thousand one hundred seventy-five strong, about half of 
them belonging to the Missouri state guard and the other 
half to the forces that had been sent from Arkansas and 
Louisiana to aid the Missourians in recapturing the state 
from the national government. 

Let us turn for a moment to General Sigel. Ilis part of 
the plan of attack was perfectly carried out. He arrived 
before daylight in the position assigned to him and had 
his guns in position and his troops drawn up ready to 
begin the attack as soon as he heard the sound of Lyon's 
guns. From the point where he stood he could look down 
upon the rebel camp and see the cooks busy with their 
preparations for breakfast, and he so arranged his skir- 
mishers that they captured every man who straggled out 
of camp, and thus prevented any warning of the presence 
of an enemy. Anxiously did he wait for the signal to 
begin the attack. He and his officers around him saw 
that they would make a complete surprise of the part of 
the camp they were to attack, and already felt sure that 
the battle would be in their favor. 

It was a few minutes past five when the first of 
the rebels were encountered by Lyon's advance, and 
by five-thirty the battle had begun. Captain Totten 


planted his artillery in a good position and threw a 12- 
pound shell into the enemy's camp. Shell after shell 
followed from his batteries and Dubois's, and then the 
sounds of Sigel's cannon were heard answering from the 
other end of the line. 

A rebel officer afterward told the Avriter of this story 
that he was asleep in his tent when an orderly came to 
tell him to get his regiment under arms, as the Yankees 
were coming. 

" Is that official ? " queried the officer, as he languidly 
raised his head. 

Before the orderly could answer the sound of a camion 
was heard, and a shell tore through the tent and narrowly 
missed its occupant. 

No explanation was needed. " Well, that's official, 
anyhow," exclaimed the officer as he sprang from his 
blankets and went through whatever toilet he had to make 
with the greatest celerity. 

Sigel's shot fell among the Arkansas and Louisiana 
troops, while those of Lyon were delivered at the Mis- 
sourians. Very quickly the rebel forces were under arms ; 
their tents fell as though by magic, and from a peaceful 
camp the spot was changed into a scene of war as by the 
wand of a magician. 

The scrub-oaks and underbrush masked the move- 
ments of the rebels and enabled them to form their line 
quite near that of Lyon's forces without being seen. 
They waited for Lyon's advance, which was not long 
delayed, and as the Union troops came advancing through 
tlie bushes they were met by a withering fire from the 
rifles of the jMissourians at close range. This was on the 
slope of Bloody Hill, and on this hill for five hours the 
battle raged between the opposing forces. 

Neither side attempted a bayonet charge, as the ground 
was quite unsuited to it on account of the density of the 


brush and the uncertainties that might he behind it. Most 
of the Missourians were armed with ordinary shotguns and 
hunting-rifles ; consequently they could not have attempted 
a bayonet charge, even though other circumstances had 
permitted one. 

The opposing lines advanced, retired, advanced again, 
and often were not more than fifty yards apart. Some- 
times the ground was held and contested for several 
minutes, and at others only for a very brief period. Now 
and then came a lull, when for half an hour or so hardly 
a shot would be fired, the antagonists each waiting for 
the next move of their opponents. The stillness at these 
times was almost painful and in marked contrast to the 
roar and rattle of the small -arms and the deep diapason 
of the artillery whenever the battle was renewed. 

The ground was strewn with dead and wounded. 
Here lay a body stiff and still in the embrace of death, and 
close beside it another writhing in the agonies of flesh 
torn by bullets or by splinters of shell. Rebel and Union 
lay side by side as the line of battle changed its position, 
and beneath more than one of the dwarfed oaks that 
spread over the now-memorable field the blue and gray 
together sought shelter from the August sun and from 
the leaden rain that fell pattering among the leaves. 
Down by the base of the hill flowed the creek, apparently 
undisturbed as ever. The waters invited the thirsty to 
partake, but whoever descended to drink from the rip- 
pling stream, or to fill a canteen for the wounded, who 
piteously begged for relief, did so at the risk of his life. 
The creek was commanded by the rifles of the Missourians 
concealed in a wheattield on the opposite side, and not 
till the end of the battle was their position changed. 

The attack of General Sigel upon the rebel camp on his 
side of the line was as successful as it was sudden. The 
camp was abandoned, and his soldiers marched through 


it without opposition to form along the Fayetteville road 
and be ready to cut off the retreat of the rebels whenever 
they should be put to flight by General Lyon. 

After the first shock of the battle was over, General 
McCulloch carefully reconnoitered the position of General 
Sigel, and in consequence of the protection afforded by 
the oaks and underbrush he was enabled to do so without 
being seen. Ascertaining their position with great ex- 
actness, he brought up two batteries and placed them 
within point-blank range of Sigel's line, and at the same 
time advanced the Third Louisiana. All this was accom- 
plished while Sigel still supposed the entire Confederate 
force was engaged with Lyon ; the complete screen of the 
trees and bushes rendering the concealment possible. 

The Third Louisiana was uniformed in gray exactly 
like the uniform of the First Iowa. When it approached 
it was mistaken by Sigel's men for the latter regiment, 
and the word passed along the line that friends were 

As the gray-coated rebels came up the fire of Sigel's 
men was withheld and flags were waved in welcome. The 
advancing enemies reserved their fire and moved steadily 
forward, and before they were near enough to be recog- 
nized the two rebel batteries opened with full force upon 
Sigel and his astonished soldiers. 

The latter were thrown into consternation, which was 
increased when the gray-coated men, still supposed to be 
friends, charged straight upon them and in a few moments 
had taken possession of five out of the six guns. LTntil it 
was too late, the Germans under Sigel believed that the 
regiment approaching them was the First Iowa, and with- 
held their flre, with consequences easy to foresee. 

Their rout was complete. Many were killed or wound- 
ed and many more captured. About four hundred of 
Sigel's men answered at the next roll-call ; some escaped 


and joined the retreating column the next day, and a por- 
tion of the column took the road through Little York and 
reached Springfield without further encounter with the 

This happened about nine o'clock in the forenoon, and 
from that time on the rebels could concentrate their at- 
tentions upon General Lyon, Sigel being no longer in their 
way. They did so concentrate, and by ten o'clock Lyon 
was very hotly pressed. Fresh troops were poured in by 
the rebels, but Lyon's whole force had now been engaged, 
and was steadily melting away. The rebels were assem- 
bling for a fresh attack, and the peril of the L'nion force 
was imminent. Unless they could break the rebel hue 
before it was ready to advance, the day was in great dan- 
ger of being lost. 




On- the whole battlefield there was no man more calm 
and collected than General Lyon, notwithstanding the 
great responsibility that rested upon him and the fearful 
odds against which he fought. Now on horseback and 
now on foot, he moved among his men, encouraging them 
by his manner and with now and then a few brief words, 
making suggestions to his officers, listening to the reports 
of his aids, calling back those who sought to flee and 
steadying those who showed signs of giving way, rallying 
the lines where they began to break and closing up gaps 
between companies and regiments, he seemed a tower of 
strength where it was greatly needed. 

"When it became apparent that Sigel had been routed, 
and not only could no help be expected from him, but the 
regiments of the enemy which had been engaged with 
him would now be turned in the direction of the main 
column. General Lyon remarked to an officer that he 
feared the day was lost. "But we will make another 
effort to save it," said he ; and with this remark he 
moved to give some directions to Captain Totten, who 
was serving his battery on the brow of the hill. 

He was close to the most advanced section of the 
battery when his horse was killed by a cannon-shot, and 
the general was somewhat stmined by his fall to the 
ground. The colonel of the Second Kansas had been 
wounded ; the regiment was close in line with the First 


Iowa, and with these regiments General Lyon undertook 
to lead an advance against the enemy, when he was 
struck down by a bullet. He fell into the arms of his 
faithful orderly, Lehman, who had kept close to his side, 
and breathed only a few times after the latter had laid 
him gently on the ground. 

Thus fell one of the truest soldiers, one of the purest 
patriots, one of the most devoted men in his country's 
cause that the world has ever seen. He loved his country 
for his country's sake, and hated slavery and all its con- 
comitants with deadly hate. While it existed he tolerated 
it, because it was one of the institutions of the land ; but 
when it raised its hand for the destruction of the Union, 
he was its most uncompromising foe. He believed in no 
half-way measures, in no patched-up peace ; and when 
the governor of Missouri set up the theory of the right of 
the state to refuse to send troops to the war or permit 
their enlistment within her boundaries. General Lyon 
would neither offer nor accept any compromise. He held 
that the national government was paramount to the 
state or any other local authoritj% and considered the 
question one not to be argued. 

In fighting the battle in which he lost his life he did so, 
not that he was confident of victory, with the odds so 
greatly against him, but because he considered it better 
to fight and take the chances of defeat, rather than not 
fight at all. He justly believed that a well-fought battle, 
even if lost, would leave no room for the charge, which 
the rebels were making daily and hourly, that the 
Northern men were cowards, who dared not fight. He 
knew that a retreat would enable the Confederates to 
overrun all that part of the state as far as the Missouri 
river; that it would give great encouragement to the 
secessionists all through the state, and would equally 
discourage the friends of the Union cause. There was a 


hope — just a hope — that he might win, and so he risked 
the battle and prejjared to abide by its results. 

After the death of General Lyon the command fell 
upon Major Sturgis, who immediately consulted the rest 
of the officers as to what should be done. Ammunition 
was nearly exhausted, the rebels were pressing hard, and 
it was speedily decided that the only safety lay in retreat, 
as a continuance of the battle would simply lead to 
greater slaughter without any prospect of victory. And 
so a retreat was ordered. 

The withdrawal was made in good order, the enemy 
making no attempt to follow. It has been stated that 
the rebels were at that moment contemplating a retreat 
from the field, and had not the Union troops withdrawn 
they would soon have found themselves victorious. This 
statement rests upon report rather than authority, and 
certainly the Confederate historians do not give any 
credence to it. Some ground for the statement may be 
found in the fact that the last repulse of the rebels before 
the order for retreat was given was a severe one, and 
resulted in a disorderly retirement of the attacking 
column. At one time the rebels were within twenty feet 
of the muzzles of Totten's guns, and it was only by the 
most determined resistance on the part of the infantry 
supporting the battery that the assailants were driven 

Most of the wounded were brought from the field in 
the wagons and ambulances that followed the column, 
but so great was the number that there was not room for 
all. Many were left on the ground, and so was the body 
of General Lyon, which was afterward recovered by a flag 
of truce that went out in charge of one of the young doc- 
tors attached to the service, partly to recover the body 
and partly to care for or bring in the Avounded. Our 
young friend Harry was detailed to drive one of the 


wagons that went to the field with the flag of truce. 
Greatly to their disappointment both the youths had re- 
ceived strict orders to stay with the wagons on the day 
of battle, so that they did not see anything of the moment- 
ous events of the day. In the distance they heard the 
firing, and now and then could get a glimpse of a column 
of men in motion, but so far as the actual battle was con- 
cerned they practically saw nothing. 

The flag of truce was gone several hours, and did not 
return until evening. It was successful in its mission, 
and those in charge of it were courteously received by the 
Confederate officers, though they met with many scowls 
on the part of the rebel soldiers. Until the flag of truce 
appeared the rebels were not aware of General Lyon's 
death, and of course when they heard of it they considered 
it an additional laurel for their side. General Price sent 
Colonel Snead, his adjutant-general, to identify the body 
of the fallen hero and deliver it to the men who came for 
it, and he did so. Here is his account of the incident, 
together with his estimate of the general's character : 

« General Price thereupon directed me to identify Lyon's 
body, and to deliver it to the bearer of the flag of truce. 
It had been borne to the rear of the Federal line of battle, 
and there, under the shade of an oak, it lay, still clad in 
the captain's uniform which he had worn just two months 
before when, relying upon the strength of his manhood, 
on the might of his government, and on the justice of his 
cause, he had boldly defied the governor of the state and 
the major-general of her forces, and in their presence had 
declared war against Missouri and against all who should 
dare to take up arms in her defense. Since that fateful 
day he had done many memorable deeds, and had well 
deserved the gratitude of all those who think that the 
union of these states is the chiefest of political blessings, 
and that they who gave their lives to perpetuate it ought 


to be forever held in honor by those who Hve under its 
flag. The body was dehvered to the men who had come 
for it — dehvered to them with all the respect and courtesy 
which were due to a brave soldier and the commander of 
an army, and they bore it away towards Springfield, 
whither the army which he had led out to battle was 
slowly and sullenly retreating." 

Colonel Snead adds : 

" The Confederates remained upon the field which they 
had won, and ministered to the wounded and buried the 
dead of both armies. Before the unpitying sun had sunk 
behind the western hills, all those who had died for the 
Union and all those who had died for the South had been 
laid to rest, uncofiined, in the ground which their man- 
hood had made memorable and which their blood had 
made sacred forever." 

Jack was waiting for Harry when the latter returned, 
and as soon as the team had been unharnessed and the 
animals fed, the two youths had an animated talk. 

" The doctor told me to drive as fast as I could," said 
Harry, " and you can be sure I did. He had the flag of 
truce — a big napkin or towel tied to a stick — and this he 
kept waving in front of the wagons as we went along. 
We did n't see anybody until we got pretty near the 
battlefield, and then we came upon a picket of fellows in 
butternut clothes and armed with shotguns and squirrel 
rifles. Yes, we did see somebody, as we passed several 
of our wounded soldiers who had tried to follow the army 
on its retreat, but were too weak to do so and had sat 
down by the roadside or were still hobbling on as fast as 
they could. One poor fellow of the First Iowa, who had 
been shot in the leg, was using his gun for a crutch. He 
asked for a drink of water and we gave it to him, and we 
gave water to some of the others, who seemed to need it 
badly. The doctor says a wounded man always suffers 


terribly from thirst, and one of tlie first tilings he always 
asks for is water. 

" When we got to the rebel picket they stopped us and 
at first would n't let us go on or send inside to the com- 
manding officer or anybody else in authority. But the 
doctor good-naturedly said they could see for themselves 
that he was the bearer of a flag of truce — that he had a 
message to deliver, and the best way to find out whether 
he ^v^as right or wrong was to send to the nearest com- 
missioned officer and ask him to come there. 

" This appealed to the common sense of the sergeant, 
who did n't seem to be a bad fellow, but simply ignorant. 
He sent for his captain, and in a little while the captain 
came. It was hard to distinguish the captain from the 
soldiers, as they were all dressed alike ; some of them had 
pieces of red cloth sewed on their sleeves, and the captain 
had stripes on his shoulders that looked just a little like 

"The doctor delivered his message, and the captain 
told him to wait awhile till he could report to General 
Price. Then the fellows of the picket began to talk to us, 
and we got on pretty well, though we thought they boasted 
a little too much under the circumstances about having 
just licked our army and made us go back to Springfield. 

" Tiiey asked us for tobacco, but we had n't any, and 
then they hinted that a little coffee would taste very well. 
We told them we had been short of coffee for the last two 
weeks. Tbey would hardly believe us, but declared that 
while we had n't had as much as we wanted, they had 
been forced to go without it altogether. Fact is, they 
did n't look as though they had been well fed. One of 
'em took an ear of corn from his pocket and said it was 
to be his supper, his breakfast having been just like it. 

" The captain came back with another officer, and then 
we went on to where the general's body was lying. The 


soldiers crowded around us, the same sort of butternut 
fellows as we met at the picket. One of 'em started to 
say something insulting to us, but the captain shut him 
Lip with a word, and after that the only affronts we had 
were scowls and occasional mutterings about the Yankees 
and Dutch. The captain came with us to the place where 
the picket was, and then let us go. The doctor thanked 
him for his politeness, and offered him a cigar, which he 
accepted with the remark that it was the first he had seen 
for two mouths." 




"We expected to pick up one or two of the wounded men 
into my wagon on our way back," said Harry, " but found 
we did n't liave to. Tlie other wagons had followed close 
behind us, and gathered up all who could n't walk or take 
care of themselves. Some of the country people were out 
looking after them, too, and by this time everybody ought 
to be cared for in some way. But, of course, there '11 be a 
great deal of suffering under the best of circumstances, as 
there is a great number of wounded men on both sides." 

And Harry was right ; there was a great number of 
wounded in proportion to the number of men engaged. It 
has been said by students of Avarfare that down to that time 
there had never been in the United States a battle in which 
the proportion of casualties was as great as at Wilson's 
Creek, and without stopping to examine the histories of 
all previous battles this is a safe assertion. Let us look 
at the figures : 

The total of the Union forces was not far from five 
thousand four hundred, including officers and men. They 
lost in the battle two hundred and fifty-eight killed, eight 
hundred and seventy-three wounded, and one hundred 
eighty-six missing, a total of casualties of one thousand 
three hundred and seventeen ; or, deducting the missing, 
we have of killed and wounded on the field of Wilson's 
Creek, one thousand one hundred and thirty-one, or more 
than one in five of all who were present; and it is 


generally considered by military men that where the killed 
and wounded are one-tenth of the total on the field the 
battle is a severe one. 

The rebel reports place their effective force on the tenth 
of August at ten thousand one hundred and seventy-five, of 
which two hundred and seventy-nine were killed and nine 
hundred and fifty-one wounded, a total of one thousand two 
hundred and thirty, or about one man in nine of the whole 
force. Even this was a heavy loss, but much smaller in 
proportion when compared with that of General Lyon's 

Colonel Blair's regiment, the First Missouri, had seven 
hundred and twenty-six men under arms when it went into 
battle. Its loss was three hundred and thirteen, or almost 
one-half its entire number. Seventy-seven of its men 
were killed, ninety-three dangerously wounded, one hun- 
dred and twenty-sixotherwise wounded, two were captured 
and fifteen were missing at the next roll-call. The First 
Kansas lost two hundred and ninety-six men out of seven 
hundred and eighty-five ; the Second Kansas, the First Iowa, 
and in fact all the other regiments on the field lost severely, 
but not as heavily in proportion as did the First Missouri 
and the First Kansas. 

Another notable circumstance of the battle was the 
large number of those engaged in it under Lyon who 
afterward rose to high rank. From that little army eight 
officers rose to be major-generals before the end of the 
war, and thirteen to be brigadier-generals. Many of the 
men who fought in the ranks became captains, majors 
and colonels. In 1863 thirty-two commissioned officers 
were in the service from one company of the First Iowa, 
and twenty-eight from one company of the First Missouri. 
And through all tlie noble records they made during the 
war for the preservation of the Union, one of their proud- 
est boasts was, " I was at Wilson's Creek with Lyon." 


Among those who rose to be major-generals were Scho- 
field, Stanley, Steele, Granger, Sturgis, Herron, Sigel and 
Osterhaus ; while of the brigadier-generals were Carr, 
Plumnier, Halderman, Mitchell, Dietzler, Sweeney, Totten, 
Clayton and Gilbert. Some of these officers covered them- 
selves with glory in subsequent campaigns, and their 
names are familiar to the veterans of the war and will 
live in the history of the country. 

All this time we have left Jack and Harry talking about 
the battle, .and particularly about the experience of the 
latter in accompanying the flag of truce. 

Their conversation was cut short by an order to be in 
readiness to move at any moment. Evidently this meant 
that the army was to abandon Springfield, which it could 
hardly hope to hold for any length of time after the result 
of the day's fighting. 

" If they '11 allow us," said Jack, " we '11 keep our wagons 
close together and help each other all we can." 

" Of course we will," was the prompt reply. " We shall 
probably follow our regiment, unless the train gets mixed 
up on the road and the wagons are scattered." 

" I don't know much about it," said Jack, " but it seems 
to me that the rebs could make it very lively for us if 
they wanted to. Here we 've got a long train of wagons, 
we're a hundred and thirty miles from the end of the rail- 
way, and there's a river to cross on the way, besides lots 
of small streams and miles of woods, where they could 
drop on us at any time before we knew they Avere there." 

" Anyway, we '11 hope for the best," responded Harry, 
" and see how things turn out. Wonder who 's to com- 
mand the army now that General Lyon 's dead ? " 

" I don't know. We '11 find that out, though, pretty 

Before the march began they ascertained that the retreat 
was to be conducted by General Sigel. Major Sturgis, 


who had assumed command immediately after Lyon's 
death, refused to hold it longer, on the ground that Gen- 
eral Sigel's commission in the volunteer service was 
superior to his own as a major in the regular army. Ac- 
cordingly General Sigel assumed command with the assent 
of all the regular officers, and ordered a retreat to Rolla. 

Had the rebels chosen to give trouble they could have 
given a great deal. The road to Rolla was none of the 
best. It was crowded with the wagons of Union men 
who were fleeing in terror at the threatened approach of 
the rebels, and the army had a train of wagons nearly 
five miles long to encumber its movements. If the rebels 
had attacked it on the road, they would have had a great 
advantage over the soldiers who had been defeated at 
Wilson's Creek. Brave as these men were, a defeated 
army is never as good at fighting as one that has not 
suffered in that way. 

But the retreating army was not molested, and in five 
days it had crossed the Gasconade river and was in a place 
of safety. As soon as it had passed the Gasconade Major 
Sturgis discovered that he was really the ranking officer, 
owing to the expiration of Sigel's commission, or some 
technicality concerning it, and therefore he demanded the 

Sigel was disinclined to yield it then, but rather than 
have trouble he did so, though had he foreseen the result 
it is quite probable that he would have refused. The 
commanding officer was entitled to write the report of 
the battle, and accordingly the report was written by 
Major Sturgis. At that time there was a great deal of 
ill-feeling on the part of many of the regular officers to- 
ward the volunteers. They looked with contempt, often 
undisguised, upon the soldiers who had come from civil 
pursuits or had not made military matters the occupation 
of their lives. This feeling gradually wore away, though 


it was never entirely obliterated, but in the early part of 
the war there was much more of it than was good for the 

General Lyon had none of this feeling, but this was far 
from being the case with the regular officers under him. 
And their contempt for volunteers was especially strong 
toward the Germans. They had few good words for the 
Teutons who wore the blue, especially when those Teutons 
were commissioned officers. 

General Sigel, having brought the column from its peril- 
ous position at Springfield to a point where it was out of 
danger, certainly deserved to have something to say about 
the official report, especially when that report placed upon 
him the responsibility for the defeat of the Union forces 
and the victory of the rebels. It should be remarked that 
the official reports do not show any loss in killed and 
wounded on the part of the two companies of regular cav- 
alry that accompanied Sigel in the battle of Wilson's 
Creek, though four men are reported missing from one of 
those companies. With the exception of these four miss- 
ing men all the loss of Sigel's column was borne by his 
infantry and artillery, all volunteers and nearly all Ger- 

At daybreak on the morning of the eleventh of August 
tlie head of tlie retreating army marched out of Spring- 
field in the direction of RoUa and the rising sun. Five 
miles from Springfield there is a road coming in from the 
direction of Wilson's Creek, and it was feared that the 
rebels might have pushed on a force during the night to 
contest the passage of the fugitives beyond this point. 
Had they done so, the great wagon-train would certainly 
have been in peril. 

But no enemy appeared, and there was an agreeable 
disappointment on the part of many of those in retreat. 
To none was this more the case than to Harry and Jack, 


who did not relish the idea of losing their wagons and 
the property in their charge. Somehow the horses and 
mules seemed to catch the spirit of retreat and to feel that 
they were in danger. One of the drivers declared that he 
had never known them to pnll half as earnestly as they 
did on the first day out of Springfield, He was sure they 
were solid for the Union and did n't want to fall into 
Johnny Reb's hands. 

All along the road there was the wildest alarm among 
the inhabitants who had espoused the Union cause. They 
felt that their lives would be in peril as soon as the army 
had passed, and many of them had already packed their 
wagons and were fleeing toward Rolla with whatever 
household goods they could carry away. Tliey abandoned 
homes and farms, everything that they were unable to 
carry, and the spectacle presented by these fleeing refugees 
was a pathetic one. They filled the road both in front of 
and behind the army, and for weeks and weeks after- 
ward a steady stream of them poured into the Union lines. 
We shall have more to say about these unfortunates by 
and by. 

At last, after many trials and tribulations, the disheart- 
ened and weary army was encamped at Rolla, where the 
welcome whistle of the locomotive resounded through the 
air. The campaign of the southwest was ended, and the 
footsore warriors had an opportunity to gain the rest they 
so greatly needed. 

Jack and Harry parked their wagons with the rest of 
the train, and wondered what would happen next. 

" We 've had a lively time of it. Jack," said Harry ; 
" but I 'm not sorry we came." 

" Nor I either," was the reply ; " and I 'm in no hurry to 
go home. Let 's wait here awhile and see what 's going to 
turn up." 

This was agreed to, and they sat down to wait. 


Page 61. 



in camp at eolla a private expedition into the 

enemy's country. 

The three-months troops whose terms had expn-ed, or 
were about to expire, were sent home, and the post at 
Rolla left in charge of the three-years regiments that re- 
mained, together witli a portion of the regular forces of 
the late army of the southwest. The First Iowa, as al- 
ready stated, had been enlisted for three months, and soon 
after the arrival at Rolla it returned to its own state and 
was disbanded. 

True to their determination to see more of the war, Jack 
and Harry remained at Rolla when the regiment departed. 
At the same time they wrote to their parents and sent 
messages by their comrades, explaining why they wished 
to stay in Missouri, and their reasons for not going home. 
" We are not enlisted," Jack wrote to his father, " and so 
we don't have to get into danger like the soldiers do. 
We 've nothing to do but drive wagons and stay around 
the camp, where everything is safe. The boys will tell 
you how it is when they get home, and you may be sure 
we won't take any risks we can keep out of." 

There was a good deal of special pleading in Jack's 
letter, as the reader plainly perceives. It was certainly a 
greater risk for the youths to remain at a frontier post 
than to go home, where they would be out of all danger. 
Furthermore, anybody knows that while the position of a 
teamster is safer than that of the soldier who goes into 


battle, it is by no means a situation of unalloyed security. 
Wagon-trains are liable to attack and capture in the 
enemy's country, and one of the favorite enterprises of a 
cavalry commander is to strike his enemy's wagon-train 
on frequent occasions. If the wagons can be taken away 
they become the enemy's property ; if they cannot be 
secured they are destroyed, and, in either case, the unfor- 
tunate drivers fall into the enemy's hands and become 
prisoners of war. 

The history of war is full of stories of attacks upon 
wagon-trains ; one of the perplexing problems for the 
military commander to solve is how to keep open his line 
of communications when advancing into the region of war 
and protect the trains that bring forward the supplies for 
his trooiDS. If an army could be maintained without food 
and ammunition, save what it could collect in the enemy's 
country, many a leader would be greatly relieved. 

Through the recommendation of the oflBcers of the First 
Iowa Jack and Harry obtained employment with the post 
quartermaster at Rolla, With the approval of the com- 
mander of the troops stationed there he issued new cloth- 
ing and blankets to the youths, and they felt, to use an 
old j)hrase, " as proud as peacocks." 

A rumor came that a rebel army was assembling some- 
where to the southward for the purpose of attacking Rolla 
and securing the valuable property stored thei-e. The 
garrison was put at work to throw up defenses, cannon 
were sent from St. Louis, the hills around the village were 
cleared of brushwood, and everything about the place 
assumed the appearance of war. 

One day Jack suggested to Harry that they would make 
an excursion into the neighboring country, just to see for 
themselves and have a little fun. 

Harry agreed to the proposal, but said there was a 
difficulty in the way on account of their clothing. They 


didn't want to be known as belonging to the garrison of 
Rolla, for the double reason that tlie people would not talk 
freely with them, and, besides, they might be seized and 
carried off as prisoners ; and furthermore, their suits 
were new and they didn't want to spoil them as long as 
spoiling could be avoided. 

Fortune favored them. That very day a scouting party 
brought in a wagon-load of clothing which had been 
collected in a village a few miles away to be sent to a 
company from that village, and then serving under 
General Price. From this load of clothing the quarter- 
master allowed Jack and Harry to help themselves, and 
they managed to pick out two suits which fitted them 
about as well as one is ordinarily fitted in a ready-made 
clothing store. 

Slouch hats added to these butternut garments com- 
pleted their costume, and thus accoutered they set out on 
a tramp whose duration was an uncertainty. Their plan 
was to walk from Rolla to Ironton and back again. The 
distance between the two points was about a hundred 
miles, and they intended to take a different road on 
their return from the one followed on the outward 

Ironton was then the terminus of the Iron Mountain 
Railway, and was held by a garrison of Union troops. 
Colonel Wyman, who commanded the Thirteenth Illinois, 
then stationed at Rolla, promised to write to the com- 
mander of the post at Ironton and inform him of the pro- 
posed journey of the youths, so that their story would not 
be discredited on their arrival there. It was thought best 
that they should carry no letters or papers of any kind 
which might compromise them in case of capture. So 
they took nothing except sufficient money to pay their 
expenses on the way, and this was supplied by the com- 
mander of the post. The paper money of the state of 


Missouri was preferred to anything else by the inhabit- 
ants of the region through wliicli they were to pass, and 
therefore they carried nothing wliich bore tlie stamp of 
tlie United States government, with tlie exception of a few 
small pieces of silver coin and some of the local " shin- 
plasters " that were then in circulation. 

The story that they were' to tell in case they were 
questioned was that they had come from the northern 
part of Missouri and were on their way to visit friends 
near Ironton. They would freely admit that they had come 
through Rolla, and Colonel Wyman gave them permis- 
sion to tell all they knew about the garrison there, except 
to give a guess as to the number of troops at the post. 
To all questions as to the number of soldiers at Rolla, 
they were to reply that they " did n't know, but thought 
there were five or six thousand." 

The fact was a reinforcement was expected in a few 
days, but this was unknown to the youths, and therefore 
the colonel was quite willing the boys should give what- 
ever information they could, and in saying that they 
did n't know the number of soldiers at the post they would 
be strictly within the lines of truth. On their part they 
were to learn all they could about what the secessionists 
were doing in the region between Holla and Ironton, and 
to what extent it was sending recruits to the rebel forces 
in the field. 

The only baggage either of them carried was an over- 
coat, if an overcoat can be called baggage. Jack wanted 
to add a tooth-brush and a cake of soap to his outfit, but 
the proposal was vetoed by Harry. 

" Don't you see," said Harry, " you 'd be giving yourself 
away at once ? These fellows here don't use soap, or so 
rarely that it is an exception ; and as for tooth-brushes, I 
don't believe a quarter of the people have ever heard of 
'em. Suppose they search us or see us using soap and 


tooth-brushes ; they 'd know right off that we were not of 
their kind. 

" And did n't you hear about how soap-boxes caused a 
lot of ainuiunition to be seized?" Harry added. 

" No ; what was that ? " 

"It was about the time of the Camp Jackson affair, 
when tlie state authorities were laying their plans for 
taking the state out of the Union and getting ready 
to fight. The Union commanders at St. Louis were 
trying to stop the shipment of anus and ammunition 
to the interior of the state, and all packages of goods 
going in that direction were examined. At first only the 
outside of the packages was looked at, but one day some- 
thing happened to require a more careful inspection. 

"The examining officers found some boxes labeled 
* soap ' on a steamboat bound for Lexington, on the 
Missouri river. Had there been only one or two boxes he 
would not have been suspicious, but when he found more 
than one hundred boxes he ' smelt a mouse.' He naturally 
wondered why the people in that part of Missouri could 
want so much soap, and from wondering he ordered some 
of the boxes opened. 

" Every box was found to contain canisters of gunpowder 
instead of soap. The whole lot was seized, and after that 
no goods were allowed to go forward without a careful 
inspection. If the shipper had labeled the stuff ' whisky ' 
instead of ' soap,' nobody would have been suspicious, as 
whisky is a staple article of commerce and consumption 
m that region," 

Jack admitted the force of the ai-gument about soap, 
but insisted that a tooth-brush would not be suspicious or 
betray their real character. 

" Don't be so sure of that," replied Harry. " One of 
these Union men from the very region we 're going 
through said the other day that he thought the colonel of 


the Illinois regiment was a very nice man, until he saw 
him come out in front of his tent one morning with a 
glass of water in one hand and a little stick with somo 
bristles on it in the other. 

" ' He came out there,' said the man, ' and stood round 
for five or ten minutes pushing that little stick round in 
his mouth and hawking and spitting and sloshing that 'er 
water among his teeth till it made me feel sick. I don't 
think he 's much of a nice man after that.' " 

Jack laughed, and agreed that the tooth-brush must be 
left behind, as well as the soap, and thus it happened that 
they started with neither of those adjuncts of a civilized 

They took the road leading in a southeasterly direction 
from RoUa, starting one morning before daybreak, so as 
to be well on their way before anybody in the village was 
stirring. The sergeant of the picket on the road they 
were to travel had been notified to let them go on without 
question, and he did so on their presentation of a pass 
duly signed by the commandant of the post. By sunrise 
they were a good three miles out of town, and had met 

Tlie first man they met was a Union refugee, who Avas 
making his way to the post to escape persecution of his 
secession neighbors ; at least that was what the youths 
inferred, though he was too cautious to say so until 
he had reached the protection of the Stars and Stripes. 
He asked if he was on the right road for Rolla, and 
on being assured that he was he appeared greatly re- 

" I don't know where you-'uns are going," said he, " but 
you '11 find lively times if you get down into Arkansas." 

" How so ? " one of the boys asked. 

" Why," was the reply, " everybody 's going to the 
army, and they don't talk about nothing else. They say 


they '11 be up here soon and drive the Yanks out of Rolla 
and everywhere else." 

" They 're used to driving," said Jack ; " there 's a lot of 
'em at Rolla that 's just been driven in from Springfield, 
and don't act as though they were going back again in a 

" Yes, I 've heard so," replied the stranger ; " p'r'aps 
they don't want to go back there yet awhile." 

The conversation lasted for ten oi- fifteen minutes, and 
was as non-committal as possible on both sides. Neither 
party was willing to admit friendliness for the Union 
side, as each was fearful of after consequences. The 
stranger was the first to move on, as he evidently dis- 
trusted the youths and wanted to get away from them. 




After they had walked four or five miles the youths 
began to feel hungry, and at Jack's suggestion they 
stopped for breakfast at the side of a little brook, which 
could supply them with that very important ingredient 
of a traveler's meal, water. Xot only did they drink 
from the brook while devouring the hard biscuit and 
boiled beef they had brought along, but they bathed their 
feet in the stream, and carefully dried them before putting 
on their shoes and stockings. 

Very early in their campaigning they had learned the 
lesson of caring for their feet. An old soldier said to 
them before they left Booneville : 

" Make it a rule to bathe your feet whenever you have 
a chance, and always dry them carefully before covering 
them again. Of course there will be times when you 
must put on wet shoes and stockings and travel in them 
for miles and miles, but never do it if you can help it. 
Wet feet cause blisters, rheumatism and all sorts of trou- 
l)le, and many a man has broken down on a march be- 
cause his feet were not properly cared for." 

" T should think the officers would look out for their 
men's feet," said Jack, when the soldier made the above 

" So anybody would think, very naturally," was the 
reply ; " but the fact is, a good many of the officers do 


nothing of the kind. They are either above that sort of 
thing or else they give general directions to the men, and 
then let them take care of themselves. A good infantry 
captain will see to it that his men take care of their feet, 
jnst as a good cavalry captain looks out for the shoeing 
of his horses and tries every way he can to keep them 
from getting sore backs. 

" xVnd remember another thing," he continued ; " at 
night always take off your boots or shoes, and sleep with 
your feet bare or only with stockings on. Your rest with 
your feet free does twice as much good as the same amount 
of rest with them confined in the leather you have worn 
all day. This is the rule with all old travelers. Of course 
there are times, when you are close to the enemy and a 
surprise may be looked for at any moment, when you 
must make an exception to the rule ; but don't make the 
exception if it can be avoided." 

Jack was skeptical on this point, and determined to 
try for himself. So he slept one night with his boots 
on and the next with them off, and found it just as the 
old soldier had told him. He candidly admitted his 
mistake, and said that for the future he should n't be 
so confident about his own opinions when they did n't 
coincide with those of persons older and more experi- 
enced than himself. 

" One thing more bear in mind," said their informant, 
" and that is about sleeping around a campfire." 

"What is that? " 

" When you sleep near a fire always lie with your feet 
to it if you can. If you turn your head toward it you 
will quite likely have a headache in the morning, and, 
anyway, you won't sleep well. The brain should be kept 
cool while we are sleeping, and the feet warm. We cover 
our feet at night when we sleep in beds, but leave our 
heads exposed. Follow the same plan in camp, and if 


you have warmth anywhere have it at the feet. When 
you sleep in a tent have your head where you can get the 
greatest amount of pure air to breathe. The Indians un- 
derstand tliis, and wlien they sleep in their circular wig- 
wams or lodges they have their feet toward the center 
and their heads nearest the circumference." 

These simple directions were of great use to Jack and 
Harry in their subsequent campaigning, and should be 
remembered by any of the young readers of this story. 
Other hints came to them from time to time, which we 
may introduce hereafter. 

After breakfast they continued their journey. Half a 
mile or so farther on they came to a house, where they 
asked the way to the next village, to make sure that they 
were on the right road. A woman and two tow-headed 
children were the sole possessors of the establishment, 
and they eyed the young travelers with an air of suspicion. 
After answering the question, the woman asked where 
they were from. 

" We 've come from the other side of the Missouri," 
answered Jack, " and are going down to see some of our 

" I know where you 're going," said the woman. " You 
do n't look old enough for soldiers, but you 're going 
South. Did you see any Yanks at Rolla ? " 

"Yes, lots of 'em," said Harry; " and 't wasn't easy 
to get away from there." 

" Yes, yes, that 's what they say," responded the woman, 
fully convinced by Harry's answer that her suspicions 
were correct. And then she added, " Wonder 'f I could 
get to Rolla and get some snuflf ? " 

The boys were non-committal on this point, but thought 
she would have no trouble if she went straight to the 
provost-marshal's office when she entered the village, and 
told what she wanted. 


« And T want a little tea and coffee, too," she added ; 
"and then some salt and other things for the house." 

Harry told her she might get a pound or so of each, 
but he was sure the officers would n't let anybody come 
through the lines with more than that. " That 's what 
they told us at Rolla," he added, " and so we did n't try 
to bring anything along," — a statement which was liter- 
ally true. 

She promised to follow their directions, and then grew 
confidential. She told them her husband was down on 
the St. Francis river, where General Hardee was getting 
up an army to drive the Yanks out of Rolla and all that 
part of the state. " He 's in Colonel Jones's regiment," 
said she ; " and if you see him, tell him we 're getting on 
all right and hope they '11 be along soon, as we 're getting 
mighty short of things to eat." 

Jack gravely made a mental note of the name of the by pronouncing it several times, and promised to 
hunt him up as soon as they got where Colonel Jones's 
regiment was. The woman then invited the youths to 
stay and have something to eat. As they had just break- 
fasted they declined the invitation, but accepted the offer 
of some milk. One of the children brought it from the 
springhouse, and the young adventurers drajik freely and 
with a good rehsh. They had a conscientious twinge in 
so doing, but swallowed the twinge along with the milk, 
and after thanking the kind-hearted woman for her hospi- 
tality continued on their way. 

" Funny she should want snuff before anything else," 
said Jack, as soon as they were out of earshot of the 

» Nothing so very funny about that," replied Harry. 
" Don't you know how they use it ?" 

" I 've heard something about it, but don't know ex- 


" I picked it up the other clay," Ilairy explained, " and 
this is how it is : They call it ' snuff-dipping ' in the 
South," he continued, " and it is very much the fashion 
among the middle and lower-class whites down in the 
cotton states, but not much in Missouri as yet. They 
take a little stick and chew the end until it 's soft like a 
brush ; then they dip this moist brush in snuff and rub it 
on the gums and around the mouth generally, and in this 
way they use up a good deal of snuff in the course of a year. 
It is said to produce a pleasant sort of mild intoxication, 
and after using it a little while a woman gets as much ad- 
dicted to snuff-dipping as a man does to chewing tobacco 
or smoking. It 's the same sort of vice, and I can't say I 
blame the women much, when all the men around them 
are chewing or smoking tobacco." 

"Do they all use it?" queried Jack; "I mean do 
the young women dip siuift' the same as the older 

" I did n't tliink to ask that question," Harry responded ; 
" but the man who told me said the Avomen who dipped 
snuff' mostly did it ' on the sly,' at any rate in the begin- 
ning of it. Probably they get bolder about it in time, just 
as boys do when they learn to smoke. After a while they 
get accustomed to snuff, and don't get the excitement out 
of it that they want, and then they take to smoking pipes 
just like men," 

Later observation convinced Jack that Harry had been 
correctly informed. The further they went in the South 
the more they found the use of tobacco prevailing among 
the women, and in several instances they found little con- 
cealment practiced in the custom of snuff-dipping. At 
one house where they called a middle-aged woman held 
her snuff-stick in her mouth all the time she was talking 
■with them, just as a man might hold a cigar there, and 
an older woman sat by the fireplace smoking a corn-cob 


pipe with tlie utmost indifference to the presence of the 
young visitors. 

They did not stop again until early in the afternoon, 
when they called at a house and asked if they could have 
dinner. There was a man about the premises, in addition 
to the woman and the usual complement of tow-headed 
children. He promptly said they hadn't much to offer, 
but the boys should be welcome. He had nothing but 
hog and hominy, and he reckoned that was all they would 
find anywhere on the road. 

Jack took the lead as spokesman, and assured him that 
hog and hominy was good enough for anybody, and was 
all they wanted ; and he further said that cold hog was 
just as good for them as hot, and if there was any cold in 
the house it would make them a first-rate dinner. 

This avowal of democratic principles smoothed the way 
at once, and in a little while dinner was ready. Fried 
bacon and cornbread constituted the repast, which was 
washed down with milk, the boys intimating that they 
preferred it to any other beverage, partly for the reason 
that it was nutritious and partly because of the general 
scarcity of tea and coffee through all the war-stricken 
region. The host was not inclined to be talkative on the 
topics that were just then the most absorbing, probably 
for the reason that he did n't know exactly who and what 
his visitors might be, and preferred to remain neutral. 
Many men in Missouri tried to adopt this course, but 
sooner or later most of tliem were drawn into the war on 
one side or the other ; neutrality was next to impossible 
where a man was able to bear arms or contribute in any 
way to the contest which involved the existence or the 
destruction of the nation. 

When the meal was over Jack asked how much they 
owed for it. The man said he did n't want anything, but 
if they had fifty cents to spare for the children it might 


come handy. Accordingly Jack gave twenty-five cents 
to one of the children, Harry gave the same amount to 
another, and everything was satisfactory. 

Just as they arose from the table there was the sound 
of hoofs outside, which drew everybody to the door. The 
hearts of the youths beat a little faster than usual when 
they saw eight or ten horsemen riding up to the house 
and ranging themselves in front of it. 




" Are they friends or enemies ? " was the question 
which rose simultaneously in the thoughts of the two ad- 
venturers. One thing was certain, they were not a cavalry 
scouting party from Rolla, as they were not in the army 
uniform, but were dressed in the common garb of the 
country, the universal " butternut." 

Two of the men dismounted and entered the house, or 
rather stepped just within the doorway, while the others 
remained in their saddles and held the horses of the two 
already mentioned. The first question of the one who 
appeared to be leader was : 

" Any Yanks about to-day ? " 

Receiving a negative reply, he asked if they had any- 
thing to drink. The host said he had just a drop of 
whisky, but he was afraid there was n't enough to go 
around. He brought out a bottle, and as it was less than 
half-full it was very evident that it would be a small 
allowance for the party of horsemen, supposing all of them 
were thirsty. 

The captain, as his comrades called him, proceeded to 
fill the bottle with water, thus diluting its contents, and 
then remarked that he thought it would go around. After 
taking a good-sized drink for himself he went outside and 
handed the bottle over to his subordinates, by whom it 
was speedily emptied. 


While they were discussing tlie whisky and remarking 
upon its tliinness, the captain questioned tlie two youtlis, 
who replied as they had previously arranged to do. They 
told the story they had already given several times, and 
which they had begun to believe was entirely within the 
bounds of truth. The captain seemed somewhat sus- 
picious at first, but before they were through talking he 
fell into the same error as did the woman at whose house 
they stopped in the morning. 

" We 're going south, too," said the captain, " soon as 
we can raise more men and horses. If you 'd only a couple 
of horses we 'd jest take you along. But you don't look 
old enough for soldiers. How old are you?" 

Jack said they would be sixteen very soon, and he added 
that perhaps the war might last long enough for them to 
get their full size. He echoed the wish of the captain 
that they had horses to travel with, so that they could go 
along with his company. 

" Well, p'r'aps you '11 find some in a day or two," the 
captain answered ; " there 's some of these Union men 
round here that 've got horses we ought to have." 

Jack took the hint and indicated their willingness to 
help themselves to horses whenever they could find any. 
This was satisfactory to the captain, and he said that 
they might join him as soon as they were mounted, and 
it would n't be very hard to find him if they asked in the 
right quarters. 

Then he gave them several names of men who could be 
relied upon, and told where they lived. They covered a 
distance of fifteen or twenty miles to the east and south, 
so that as soon as the youths had supplied themselves 
with horses they could find out the captain's rendezvous. 
" But don't trust this man," said the captain, r odding in 
the direction of the house in front of which they stood. 
" He talks South to our fellows and North to the Yanks 


when they come around, and nobody knows where to put 
him exactly. He 's trying to carry water on botli shoul- 
ders, and '11 be likely to spill it if he don't look out sharp." 

Then the captain mounted his horse, after handing the 
empty bottle to the farmer, and the troop of Southern 
recruits rode off. The farmer was evidently glad to see 
them going away, and also not at all sorry when the boys 
followed in the same direction. He had heard only a 
small part of the conversation between them, but evi- 
dently caught enough of it to divine its purport. 

" It 's getting rather exciting," said Harry, as soon as 
they were alone. " Had n't we better go back to Rolla 
and tell what we 've seen and heard, so as to put the col- 
onel on the track of the captain who wants us to become 
horse-thieves ? " 

" I 've been thinking the same thing," said Jack ; " but 
how will we work it ? " 

"That 's the question," Harry responded. "It won't 
do to turn round now, as we should be suspected by 
everybody who has seen us, and particularly by the man 
where we had dinner. I think he 's a Union man, or 
neutral anyhow ; but we '11 take the captain's advice, and 
not trust him." 

" I have it," said Jack. " We 're tired now, and will 
go into the woods and have a sleep. We 're about fifteen 
miles from Rolla, and can get back there by morning. 
Soon as it 's dark we can start back and go just as fast 
as we can, and by breakfast time to-morrow we '11 have 
a party of cavalry on the heels of the captain." 

This was agreed to, and at once the boys, in the par- 
lance of the Southwest, " took to the woods." They slept 
soundly till dark, and then took the back track for Rolla. 
Fortunately they met nobody save a man in a farm- 
wagon, and as they heard the sound of his wheels some 
time before he reached them they had abundant oppor- 


tunity to conceal themselves by the roadside till he had 

Just at daylight they reached the pickets outside of 
Rolla, and were immediately taken before the colonel, 
who received them in his tent and heard their story. 
Then he sent for a lieutenant of cavalry, who was at once 
dispatched with twenty men to hunt for the captain and 
his band of horse- thieves. Jack and Harry offered to 
accompany them, but the captain declined, partly because 
they were in great need of rest, having traveled thirty 
miles in about twenty-six hours and been awake all 
night, and partly because they would be recognized by 
those who had seen them on the road, and by the captain 
and his men in case they should be encountered. 

" But do us one favor," said .Jack, when he found that 
their desire to accompany the party would not be granted. 

"Anything in reason," said the lieutenant; "what is 

Then he told about the woman who had given them the 
milk and asked them to stay to dinner, and he described 
the house so that it could not be mistaken. 

" Well, what about her ? " asked the lieutenant, as Jack 

" Take her this," said Jack, handing out a package co7i- 
taining half a pound of tea, which he had obtained from 
the colonel's servant while they were waiting the arrival 
of the lieutenant, after the boys had told their story. 
" Just leave it and say it is from friends ; you need n't 
tell her anything more, and it isn't necessary for her to 
know. We feel rather guilty at having had her hospi- 
tality for nothing, and want to compensate her in some 

The lieutenant laughed as he tossed the package to his 
sergeant and gave the order to mount. In two minutes 
the party was off. It was accompanied by two Union 

THE LOST AB3fY. 115 

men, natives in that region, who were to act as guides in 
designating the roads leading to the probable retreat of 
tlie captain witli whom tlie youths had formed so brief an 

Tlie lieutenant carried out the request of the boys and 
left the woman a good deal puzzled over the affair. He 
did not stop five minutes at the house, and briefly told her 
that an old friend had sent her something he thought 
would be acceptable. As the boys could not in any sense 
be considered old friends, she never once thought of 
them, and especially as they had gone, as she supposed, 
to the South, and turned tlieir backs altogether upon 
Rolla and the way the Yankees came from. 

Let us follow the scouting party and see how it turned 

About fifteen miles out from Rolla, and near the point 
where Jack and Ilany turned back, the lieutenant halted 
his men and sought a place of concealment in the woods 
by the roadside, first putting out a picket to prevent any 
one passing in either direction. Then, as the Union 
guides were known, he had them change clothing and 
horses with two of the men, whom he sent forward to one of 
the secessionists whose name had been given by the rebel 
captain to the youths. For this work he selected two 
young and beardless men, on the chance that the captain 
had told the secessionist that the two youths might ask 
his whereabouts. 

The lieutenant's calculations were correct. The resi- 
dent readily told where the captain was to be found, and 
the men returned by a circuitous route to where the sol- 
diers were waiting for the desired information. Then 
there was a change back again to clothing and horses as 
before, and the hunt for the human game was renewed. 

So well was the affair managed that the whole band 
was captured without the shedding of a drop of blood. 


With the aid of the guides the camp of the rebel recruits 
was surrounded and the whole party was taken by sur- 
prise. At first they were inclined to fight, but when they 
saw their assailants were double their number, and also 
were better armed, they considered discretion the better 
part of valor and gave up as gracefully as they could. 

The lieutenant returned in triumph to Rolla with his 
prisoners and their horses. To guard against accidents 
the prisoners were not mounted on their own steeds, but 
carried in a wagon which formed a part of their camp 
equipment. Four soldiers with their carbines ready rode 
on eacli side of the wagon, and if any attempt had been 
made to escape it would have resulted badly for those 
Avho tried it. 

The captured horses were turned over to the quarter- 
master, with the exception of two, which the colonel gave 
to Jack and Harry for their own use. Jack selected the 
one which had belonged to the captain, and remarked as 
he did so that he had carried out that gentleman's wishes 
in helping himself to a horse, though possibly not in the 
way the latter intended. 

The colonel praised the boys for what they had done, 
but advised them to give the region of their late opera- 
tions a wide berth in future. 




The morning after their arrival at Rolla, the prisoners 
taken through the instrumentality of Jack and Harry 
were sent to 8t. Louis, where they were held until an ex- 
change was arranged. Colonel Wyman thought the in- 
terests of the service would be advanced by keeping the 
captured captain and his comrades in ignorance of ho\A 
their seizure was accomplished, and in obedience to his 
orders the two youths kept out of the way of the pris- 
oners, and nothing was said in their presence that could 
enlighten them. 

It was several months before the captain found out how 
cleverly he had been taken. At first he was inclined to 
be very angry with the boys, and vowed vengeance upon 
them if he ever met them again ; but on reflection he re- 
marked that all was fair in love and war, and perhaps he 
was not quite free from blame in talking so readily with 
two entire strangers. " They played the game well," said 
lie ; " splendidly, in fact, for a pair of youngsters, and if I 
can ever give them a helping hand when they 're in trou- 
ble I '11 do it." He was n't at all a bad sort of fellow, 
that captain, and you can be sure that after that he 
was n't quite so ready to confide in persons whom he had 
never seen before. 

Not only did the boys have a selection from the cap- 
tured horses, but they had a choice of saddles and also of 
the pistols which formed the armament of the prisoners. 


All the pistols were old, and some of them were quite as 
likely to do damage at the rear as at the business end. 
The captain had the best weapon of the lot— a Colt's re- 
volver, and there was another just about as good. Jack 
and Harry drew lots for the choice. The advantage fell 
to Jack, who immediately picked up the captain's revolver 
and handed it over to Harry. "I 've got the captain's 
horse," said he, " and you ought to have something to 
remember him by, so you nmst take this along." Thus 
the division was settled, and both were happy. 

Thus armed and mounted, the boys were what might 
be called " swells " in the garrison of Rolla, and the envy 
of many of their associates. There was not a great deal 
for them to do for a month or more, as the enemy did not 
make the attack upon the post they had been threatening 
to make, nor did they even make a feint of one. The boys 
went on several scouting expeditions on their own ac- 
count, with the approval of the commanding officer of the 
post, and though they made some discoveries and ob- 
tained information that was of use, they did not succeed 
in making captures of prisoners and horses. 

Recruiting for the rebel army was in progress in all the 
interior counties of Missouri, and often almost under the 
eyes of the Union authorities. Now and then an expedi- 
tion seized a squad or company of recruits and brought 
tliem triumphantly within the lines, but as a general 
thing the most of the men who wanted to join the South- 
ern armies succeeded in doing so. The fact was, it was 
not possible to garrison every town and village through- 
out the State, and it was thought best to allow those with 
secession proclivities to get away to the field whenever 
they wanted to go, rather than remain and be a cause of 

General Fremont had been assigned to the command of 
the Department of the Missouri shortly before the battle 


of Wilson's Creek, and it was to him that General Lyon 
had appealed so earnestly and so vainly for reinforcements 
to enable him to hold out against the advancing rebels. 
After the retreat of the army to Rolla and the occupation 
of Springfield by the rebels, General Fremont set about 
organizing a force to take the field early in the autumn, 
with the hope of securing possession of the state and fly- 
ing the Union flag all over its territory. 

After the battle of Wilson's Creek the disagreement 
which had existed between the rebel leaders — Price and 
McCulloch — increased, and finally threatened to end in 
warfare almost equal to that which they were trying to 
wage together against the Union. McCulloch refused to 
advance further into the state, in spite of the entreaties 
of Price. An appeal to the Confederate government did 
not result in securing a peremptory order for McCulloch 
to advance as Price desired, and the result was a separa- 
tion. McCulloch went back to Arkansas, while Price, 
whose forces had been strengthened by recruits from vari- 
ous parts of the state, marched northward in the direc- 
tion of the Missouri river. 

Price's openly-declared intentions were to capture 
Jefferson City, the capital, and re-establish Governor Jack- 
son in authority there. A state convention had met there 
in July, and, of course, there was no governor to welcome 
it, and no commander-in-chief of the state forces. The 
convention declared the oflice of governor vacant, and 
chose a new governor. Honorable Hamilton R. Gamble, to 
fill Jackson's place. It is needless to say that Governor 
Gamble was a Union man, and from that time onward the 
power of the state was exerted in favor of the national 
government and against the rebellion of the South. 

Jackson, the fugitive and rebel governor, never saw the 
state capital again after he left on the day of the memo- 
rable flight to Booneville. He continued with the rebel 


armies in southwest Missouri and Arkansas and died in 
the last-named state long before the end of the war. 
General Price survived the war and afterward went to 
Mexico, where he was one of the founders of a colony of 
Americans who had sworn never to live under the flag of 
the United States. He died there in 1867. 

With twenty thousand men in his command, and with 
his numbers increasing every day of his advance. Price 
reached Lexington, on tiie banks of the Missouri, having 
two or three encounters with the Union forces on his way, 
none of which were of much account. The superiority of 
his numbers gave him the advantage, and his opponents 
wisely retreated as he moved on. Lexington was gar- 
risoned by about two thousand six hundred Union troops, 
consisting of volunteer infantry and Home Guards, under 
command of Colonel Mulligan, of the Irish Brigade. A 
fortification had been thrown up around the college 
buildings, which stood in a commanding position between 
the new and old towns of Lexington, and about half a 
mile from the river. The bank of the river was a hiwh 


blult", and with the exception of a small supply from 
cisterns and springs, water for the garrison had to be 
brought by hand or hauled by teams from below the base 
of this bluff. 

Colonel Mulligan arrived at Lexington on the first of 
September, and the fortification, which he greatly strength- 
ened, had been laid out by the commander of the troops 
already there. The spot was not wisely selected, as we 
shall presently see. As one of the officers said afterwards, 
" It was a very good place for a peace fortress, but very 
bad for warfare, especially when the warfare has to be 

The men worked night and day to comi^lete the intrench- 
ments, which were ten feet high, with a ditch eight feet 
wide, and capable of inclosing ten thousand men. Rumors 


of the advance of Price were in the air, and it was 
definitely known that he was moving toward Lexington. 
Appeals for reinforcements were sent to St. Louis, but 
they did not succeed in bringing troops to the aid of the 
garrison, for the simple reason that none could be spared 
from that city. 

On the afternoon of Wednesday, the eleventh of Sep- 
tember, the Union scouts and pickets were driven in by 
the enemy only a few miles out of Lexington. The rebels 
followed rapidly and attacked one of the angles of the 
fortifications, but not very vigorously. The fighting was 
kept up on the twelfth and following days, while the rebel 
army was coming up and making its preparations for the 
reduction of the fortification and capture of the garrison. 

There were nearly three-thousand mules and horses 
inside the fortifications, and as the rebel shot and shell 
fell amongst them they caused a great deal of trouble. 
Numbers of them were killed and their bodies lay rotting 
in the sun, the garrison being too much occupied with de- 
fending the position to give attention to burying the dead 
animals or doing any other work of the camp. Frequently 
some of the aft'righted animals broke loose from their 
fastenings and ran wildly about the camp, and it was 
finally found advisable to allow some of them to run out- 
side, as their value was not sufficient compensation for 
the trouble and danger of caring for them. 

The college building was within the inclosure, and oc- 
cupied as the headquarters of Colonel Mulligan. Very 
naturally, it formed a fine target for the rebel artillery, 
and they fired away at it with good effect. One night 
they fired hot shot at it, but did not set it on fire ; had 
they succeeded in doing so it would have created consider- 
able havoc among the garrison, as the ammunition for the 
defense of the place was stored in the cellar, where it was 
covered with dirt and sods. 


The rebels went to work leisurely, as before stated. 
They planted some of their artillery on the river bank, 
where they stopped every steamboat going up or down. 
They seized the ferry-boats that connect Lexington with 
the opposite bank of the river, and thus prevented the 
crossing of reinforcements which were moving from 
Kansas to join the threatened garrison. Several steam- 
boats were thus taken, and for a while, at least. General 
Price was certainly master of the situation. 

The country around Lexington grows a large amount 
of hemp, and thousands of bales of this article were stored 
in the warehouses of the town. The rebels rolled out 
this hemp, and with it constructed movable fortifications, 
with which they proceeded to reduce the earthworks of 
tTie Union army. 

And this is the way it was done : The hemp was 
thoroughly wetted, so that there would be no danger of 
its taking fire, and then the bales were rolled toward the 
Union works, one after another, until they formed a 
breastwork ; and all the time not a head of a man could 
be seen. Then other bales were brought forward and 
rolled on the top of the first layer, and in this way the 
assailants had a defense that no bullet could penetrate. 
Even the four or five pieces of light artillery which Colonel 
Mulligan possessed could do but little against such a 
bulwark as this. 

The first of these hemp breastworks was thrown up to 
the west of the fort ; another on the north, where it was 
partially sheltered by timber, followed it very quickly. 
In the night they were pushed forward, so that they were 
within very short range, and from the spaces between 
the bales the rebels kept up a fire upon every Union head 
that was shown on that side of the earthworks. It was 
a repetition of the trick of General Jackson with the 
cotton bales of New Orleans in 1815. 


There were several houses within range of the fort, and 
these were speedily occupied by the rebels. Then from 
every rock, elevation, fence, gully and tree bullets were 
steadily whizzing, the great numbers of the rebels enabling 
them to keep their lines of attack fully manned at all 

Rations were growing short in the fortifications, and 
tlie men were worn out with hard work and the necessity 
of being almost constantly on duty. The stench from the 
dead animals within the lines was fearful, and threatened 
to breed an epidemic ; some of the Home Guards were 
demoralized and wanted to surrender, but the commander 
refused to entertain the idea of givmg up the place. 




mont's advance. 

To the lack of ammunition and provisions, the stench 
of the dead animals, the immense preponderance in 
numbers of the enemy, the abundance of hemp with 
which the rel)els could construct breastworks, the be- 
leaguered garrison had to face an additional horror — that 
of thirst. 

As before stated, the fortification was at some distance 
from the river, and within the limits of the fortification 
there were two cisterns, which were soon exhausted, and 
just outside the lines were two springs, which afforded a 
scanty supply, the rest being taken from the river. As 
soon as the besiegers ascertained this state of affairs they 
proceeded to cut off the supply of water, which they were 
able to do with their greatly superior numbers. 

All communication with the river was severed, and 
then a force was posted in a position to fire on anybody 
who went to get water at the springs. Men can fight 
under great privations of food and with short supplies of 
ammunition, but they cannot fight against thirst. So de- 
termined were the men to hold out, that during a heavy 
rain on the second night after the siege began every tent 
and wagon cover was spread to catch as much water as 
possible ; in this way a great amount was secured, and 
more was obtained by spreading blankets, and after- 
ward wringing them out. 


Twice a white flag was raised on the ramparts without 
the authority of Colonel Mulligan, and immediately hauled 
down as soon as he learned of it. A third time it was 
raised, also without his authority ; hut when he consid- 
ered the sufferings of his men and found there was no 
prospect of relief, he consented to surrender, and negotia- 
tions were begun immediately. Unconditional surrender 
were the terms demanded hy the besiegers, and under 
the circumstances the besieged were forced to accept 
them. They piled their arms and handed over their col- 
ors. Colonel Mulligan wept as he gave up his command, 
and many of his men fairly rolled on the ground in their 
rage at having been defeated. But it was practically 
impossible that they could hold out any longer, and the 
surrender was certainly in the interests of humanity. 

The losses were less than might have been expected in 
a fight that lasted from the eleventh to the twentieth of 
September, though it must be remembered that for the 
first few days it was not very energetically pushed by 
the besiegers. The water supply was cut off on the seven- 
teenth and from that time to the twentieth the garrison 
had no water beyond what they caught in blankets, tents 
and wagon-covers in the rain that has been mentioned. 
Less than two hundred were killed and wounded on the 
Union side, and about the same number on that of the 
rebels. Each side claimed to have inflicted a greater 
loss on the enemy than it sustained itself, a circumstance 
which has been more or less intimately connected with 
warfare since the world began. 

Immediately after the surrender the rebels swarmed 
around the prisoners, and while some treated them kindly, 
others heaped abuse upon them, and if the Unionists had 
not already laid down their arms there would have been 
a good prospect of a renewal of the fight. The prisoners 
were paroled not to take up arms against the Confederacy 


until regularly exchanged, and then they were set across 
the IMissouri river and marched to a point near the Han- 
nibal and St. Joseph Railway and told to go where they 
pleased. During this march they were in charge of 
General Rains and his brigade, and most of them testified 
to the kindness of the soldiers of Rain's Brigade and of 
the people along the road they traveled. 

After the surrender Lexington was a lively place. With 
nearly thirty thousand victorious rebel soldiery in the 
town, and many of these soldiers filled with whisky, in 
addition to being flushed with victory, the streets were 
anything but quiet and orderly. The officers of the Con- 
federates were gentlemanly enough, but as for the soldiers 
they were anything but well-behaved. It required all 
the authority of the officers to keep the men from break- 
ing loose and setting the town on fire or committing some 
other folly or barbarity. In some instances it became 
necessary to order the men out of town and form camps 
three or four miles away, which no one could leave with- 
out express permission. 

There was the same lack of uniforms that had charac- 
terized the troops at Wilson's Creek, only a few hundreds 
of all the army under General Price having been able to 
obtain the Confederate gray. Some of the generals and 
colonels Avere uniformed, but many were not, and wore 
their civilian dress, with cloth shoulder-straps to indicate 
their rank. Many of the soldiers fought quite independ- 
ently of all command, and took their positions wherever 
they were best suited. 

An eye-witness of the siege said that the mode of 
fighting was well illustrated by something that came un- 
der his observation. There was an old Texan, dressed in 
a l)uckskin suit and armed with a hunting-rifle of the 
kind in use on the plains before the war. About seven 
o'clock every morning this Texan used to go to the Con- 


federate breastworks, carrying his dinner in a tin pail. 
He hunted around for a good position till he found one, 
and then he fired away whenever he saw a head until the 
sun showed the meridian. 

Promptly at noon he knocked off for an hour and ate his 
dinner. Then he went to work again and kept at it till 
six o'clock, when he went home to supper and to spend 
the night in peaceful sleep. Morning saw him at his post 
again ; and thus he continued at his daily task till the 
surrender took place. There were a good many independ- 
ent warriors of this sort, and if they did not kill many of 
their adversaries it was because the latter kept their heads 
out of range. 

As soon as Lexington was surrendered Price turned his 
attention to gathering supplies and recruits from the rich 
and populous counties along the river. While he was en- 
gaged at this business, General Fremont assembled an 
army at Jefferson City for the purpose of heading him 
off. A portion of Fremont's army marched from Jefferson 
City to Tipton and Syracuse, while the balance was sent 
forward by railway to the same point. It was intended 
to march from these points to Springfield and reoccupy 
the place, which Lyon's army had been compelled to give 
uj) in August after the reverse at Wilson's Creek. 

At the same time the garrison of Rolla was strengthened, 
and a column was ordered to move from that point to 
join the main force at Springfield. This movement prom- 
ised to give occupation to Jack and Harry, who had been 
chafing at their inactivity while preparations were in prog- 
ress. True, they had scouting expeditions occasionally, 
but as they did not succeed in finding any enemy, except 
in a very few instances, there was not enough to make the 
life of the camp at all exciting. 

Movements were delayed by a lack of supplies and 
transportation, and it was not till the middle of October 


that the Union forces took the offensive. In the main 
column from Tipton and Syracuse, General Sigel's divis- 
ion had the advance ; while the other commanders were 
waiting for transportation Sigel scoured the country and 
picked up everything that could be of use. His wagon- 
train when he started was one of the funniest things of 
the kind ever known ; there were some army wagons of 
the regulation pattern, but there were more emigrant 
wagons, such as are used by pioneers seeking new homes 
in the far West beyond the lines of railway, and where 
steamboats are unknown. 

Then he had stage-coaches, family-carriages, drays, hay- 
carts, in fact all the kinds of vehicles known to that part 
of the country, and whenever a pack-saddle was found it 
was taken along. And the motive power was as varied as 
the vehicles to be moved ; it comprised mules and horses 
as a matter of course, and it also included oxen, and even 
cows where the latter were found docile enough to be yoked 
or harnessed. There was a rumor that some of Sigel's 
men attempted to harness up a drove of pigs ; that they 
took the pigs along there can be no reasonable doubt, but 
probably for some other purpose than breaking them in 
as draft animals. However burdensome to carry a pig 
may be, he has never been found a satisfactory beast of 

Before Fremont could get his army in motion. Price had 
taken the alarm and evacuated Lexington. He was too 
wily to wait till his enemy could get in front of him to 
cut him off, and the most that Fremont could hope for 
was that Price would make a stand in the neighborhood 
of Springfield and give chance for a battle. 

Fremont did not encounter any enemy on his southward 
march until he was in the neighborhood of Springfield. 
When within fifty miles of that place he sent forward two 
companies of his body-guard, comprising about one hun- 

The Fight for \\ atek. 

Paxie 72. 


drecl and fifty men, under the command of Major Zagonyi, 
and composed of most excellent materials for a cavalry 
squadron. The members of the body-guard were from the 
best class of young men of St. Louis and Cincinnati. From 
the completeness of the body-guard's outfit and the dashing 
appearance it presented, it was derisively known as the 
kid-gloved regiment. It consisted of four companies of 
cavalry, and the intention was to increase it to a full 
regiment of ten companies, an intention never carried out. 
After the removal of Fremont the famous organization 
was sent to St. Louis and disbanded. 

Well, the body-guard got within eight miles of Spring- 
field without seeing the enemy, but at that distance from 
town it found a brigade of infantry, with some cavalry, 
drawn up to receive them, IMajor Zagonyi ordered a 
charge, and it was made in gallant style. It was like the 
charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava — it was magnif- 
icent, but it was not war. The enemy was routed and 
the town was occupied only to be abandoned as soon as 
night came on, for the very natural fear of a surprise, 
which might easily have been disastrous to the seventy 
or eighty men that remained of Zagonyi's command, the 
rest having been killed, wounded, or scattered in the 
fight. Fifteen were killed and twenty-seven wounded, 
and fully fifty horses were killed or rendered useless by 
reason of wounds and over-riding. 

Jack and Harry discussed the affair, when the news 
reached them, with the coolness and critical air of major- 

" What was the use of such a charge as that?" said 
Jack, with his eye fixed on Harry as though he would 
pierce him. 

" It was a splendid fight," was the reply, " and did 
great credit to the men that made it." 

" Nobody says it did n't," responded Jack ; " but just 


look at the waste of life, and nothing to show for it. The 
rebels were preparing to leave Springfield; in fact, the 
two thousand that Zagonyi says he encountered were only 
the rear-guard of Price's army, and when our army came 
along it could have occupied the town, as it afterwards 
did, without any opposition. The lives of those soldiers 
were just thrown away, and it is n't the only time men 
have laeen sacrificed just to enable somebody to show oft'." 
Harry nodded assent, and the conversation shifted to 
other topics. 




Fremont's army reached Springfield two days after 
the charge of the body-guard, the rebels retiring as the 
advance of the column approached. There was an amus- 
ing incident connected with the charge which may here 
be related. 

A corporal and half a dozen men became separated from 
the rest of the body-guard and straggled into Springfield 
after the others had left. While the corporal was unde- 
cided what to do, a flag of truce came in from the rebels, 
asking a suspension of hostilities to permit the burial of 
the dead. 

The corporal received the flag of truce at the court- 
house, and, on learning the object of the visit, said he 
must consult his general, who was lying down in an imier 
room of the building. He disappeared for several minutes, 
and after a sufficient time had elapsed for a parley with 
the imaginary general, he returned with the partial and 
conditional approval of the request. He cautioned the 
officer bearing the flag of truce not to approach a certain 
piece of woods near the scene of the fight until word could 
be sent there that a truce had been arranged ; otherwise 
there would be danger of a collision between the troops, 
as the general's division was too much exasperated to 
be under control. He said it would take not less than 
three hours to arrange the matter, and meantime the 
burying party must remain away. The flag of truce de- 


parted, and the corporal hastily summoned his men and 
decamped in the direction which his chief had taken. 

A ruse not unlike this was played by the colonel of a 
Kansas regiment that was suddenly confronted while on 
the march through western Missouri by a force four times 
its own strength. The colonel immediately deployed his 
entire regiment into a skirmish-line and boldly advanced 
to battle. The rebels naturally tliought that when an 
entire regiment was deployed as skirmishers there must 
be a good sized force behind it. They retired carefully 
and in good order, the Kansas colonel pressing them suf- 
ficiently close to give the impression that he was anxious 
for a fight. By this ruse, which required a good deal of 
nerve to undertake, a battle was avoided and the prestige 
of victory went to the Unionists. 

The day after Fremont's advance reached Springfield 
the column from Rolla made its appearance, and went 
into camp just outside the town. Jack and Harry were 
attached to the wagon-train as before, but with the 
advantage in their favor that they were allowed to retain 
the horses which had been given to them af tei' the capture 
of the rebel captain, and therefore they were able to see 
more of the country than under their former circum- 
stances. Tliere had been no opposition on the march, 
and therefore the trip from Rolla had been devoid of 
incidents of importance. The boys went several times 
with scouting parties that were sent out to examhie the 
country, on both sides of the line of march, but however 
much they wanted to get into a brush with the enemy 
they could not find an enemy to brush with. All the 
men who sympathized with the rebellion seemed to have 
gone to the rebel army, with the exception of those who 
were too old for service. 

But if the men were absent, the women were not; and 
what was more, they were not slow, in most cases, to 


make known their feelings. Tliey denounced the " Yan- 
kees " and " Dutcli " in the bitterest terms, taunting 
them with robbing and killing honest people who were 
fighting in defense of their homes ; charging them with 
being cowards and hirelings, and sometimes cursing them 
roundly in language altogether unfit for ears polite or lips 

One day a woman poured upon Jack and Harry a volley 
of vituperation tliat was delivered with such rapidity as 
to render fully half of it unintelligible. Jack was at first 
inclined to anger, and started to " talk back," but Harry 
restrained him, and asked the woman if that was all she 
had to say. 

" All I 've got to say ? " she screamed ; " no, I 've got 
more to say ; and that is that you're a pair of brainless 
boys that sense is wasted on. 'T ain't no use talking to 
such babies without no more beards than the back of my 

" Did you ever read Washington's farewell address to 
his army, madam ?" said Harry, with the utmost gravity 
depicted on his face. 

" No ; I don't know nothing about it," she replied. 
" Who 's he, I 'd like to know ; one of your Dutch thieves, 
I s'pose ? " and her voice came down a note or two from 
its very high pitch. 

" He was first in war, first in peace, and first in the 
hearts of his countrymen," said Harry, with his mock 
gravity continued throughout. 

" I s'pose he 's one of your Dutch generals or colonels," 
retorted the woman. " He 'd better not come around here, 
or I '11 tell him what I think of him and all his other 

" He will not come, madam ; I '11 take care that he 
does n't. But in his farewell address he remarked that 
there was nothing half so sweet in life as two souls with- 


out a single thought, and two hearts that beets and cab- 
bages could not turn from their faithful allegiance." 

" What 's that got to do with us, I'd like to know," said 
she. " He 'd better not come around here alone talking that 
way ; but if he fetches along his Dutch thieves, we can't 
help ourselves. You-'uns ought to go home if you want 
to save yourselves from killing, for the Southern men 
won't leave one of ye alive." 

" That is what I was saying to my friend here," re- 
sponded Harry ; " and now that we 've had our call, we '11 
take your advice and go." 

Away they I'ode, and had a good laugh as soon as they 
were out of sight of the house. Jack admitted that 
Harry had shown good sense in making light of the vitu- 
peration they received, and said he would follow the 
same plan in futui-e. 

" It 's no use trying to convert these people to our way 
of thinking," said Harry, as they rode along on their way 
to rejoin the column. " Argument is wasted on them just 
as it would be wasted on us. Nobody could win us over 
to believe in secession, and why should we expect these 
men and women, born and bred with slaves around them, 
to regard slavery and what comes of it as we regard it." 

Jack acquiesced in Harry's theory, and he furtlier ad- 
mitted that if he had been born in the South and brought 
up there, it was fair to suppose that he would have be- 
lieved in state-rights and the other principles that the 
Southern leaders had advocated since the formation of the 

After the arrival of the column at Springfield and its 
junction with the forces of General Fremont, there was a 
prolonged halt to wait for supplies for the army, prepara- 
tory to a further advance into the enemy's country. The 
rebels fell back toward the Arkansas line, and it was re- 
ported that a force was advancing to join them from 

THE LOST AR^fY. 135 

Arkansas, when they would be ready to meet us. Scout- 
ing parties were sent out, and ascertained that there was 
practically no enemy within fifty miles, the rebel army 
being" concentrated at Cassville, where they waited the 
reinforcements mentioned. The country far beyond 
Wilson's Creek was entirely safe, only a stray scouting 
party of rebels having been seen for several days. 

Jack and Harry obtained permission to visit Wilson's 
Creek and the battle-ground from which they had been 
driven eleven weeks before. " The thing that impressed 
us most," said Jack, in his letter to his father, which he 
wrote the evening afterward, " was the absolute stillness 
of the place in contrast to the roar of artillery and the 
crash of the small arms on the day of the battle. There 
was no sound whatever to break it, except the occasional 
chirphig of a bird or the rippling of the creek, except our 
own voices and the breaking of the twigs under the feet 
of our horses. At every step we took we could not help 
contrasting the cool autumn morning with that hot day in 
August when shot and shell and bullets were flying all 
around and the sound of the cannon was like rapid peals 
of thunder. 

"My horse stumbled over something in the grass, and I 
looked down to see what it was. It was a human skull 
on which his foot had fallen, and the skull turning had 
caused him to stumble as he did. A few feet away lay the 
dismembered skeleton to which the skull evidently be- 
longed. It was probably the remains of a soldier who 
had been wounded and crawled under a tree for shelter 
and died there, as the spot was among the trees, and away 
from the beaten track. There were bits of cloth scattered 
over the ground, and it was evident that birds or wild 
animals had been at work there ; and also upon another 
skeleton a little further on, which was disturbed and 
scattered like the first. 


" On the battle-field there were numerous graves, that 
showed how severe had been the carnage ; some were 
single graves, while others were sufBciently broad to con- 
tain a dozen or more bodies. Fragments of weapons, 
pieces of the broken wheel of a gun-carriage, and of the 
shell that destroyed it, were lying all around, and the 
trees everywhere were seamed and scarred by bullets. 
Then there were skeletons of horses lying where the ani- 
mals fell, and these had also been the prey of birds or 
animals, to judge by the general aspect of dismember- 

" We looked for the spot where General Lyon fell, and 
found it marked by an inscription carved upon the nearest 
tree. A farmer living near the battle-field came out to 
show us around, and he told us that the rebel soldiers 
cut oti: the glossy mane and tail of CTcneral Lyon's horse 
and divided it among them, to wear as badges of honor 
or send home to their friends. Then they took away 
the teeth and bones as souvenirs of the fight, and Avhen 
these were exhausted the teeth and bones of other 
horses were secured as relics of the general's favorite 

"We rode over and around Bloody Hill and then descend- 
ed to the valley of the creek, where the rebels had their 
camp on the morning of the battle. Here there were 
more traces of the conflict in the shape of the ashes of the 
wagons that were set on fire at the time of Sigel's attack, 
and the bits of iron which the fire could not consume. 
And all the time the stillness impressed us so much that 
it was almost painful." 

They returned to Springfield by the Fayetteville road, 
having gone to the battle-field by the route which was 
followed by General Lyon. 

The next day there was a rumor that the rebels had 
been reinforced and were advancing. A battle could be 


looked for very soon, and the whole camp was m a state 
of excitement. 

On the morning of the second of November the scouts 
brought positive information that the rebels were advanc- 
ing, and the next day it was reported that they were 
camped on the old battleground at Wilson's Creek and 
would fight there. The general officially announced it^ 
and gave orders for an advance on the following day. 

The army was ready to move, pickets were doubled and 
grand guards increased, and a battery of four guns was 
placed on the Fayetteville road to greet the enemy if he 
chose to come on. Jack and Harry slept that night with 
their horses saddled ; their sleep was more in theory than 
practice, as they were so excited that they hardly closed an 
eye durmg the night. 




For some time there had been rumors that General 
Fremont was about to be removed from the command of 
the Western Department. It was said that the authorities 
at Washington were greatly dissatisfied with the way he 
had managed affairs, and thought he gave more attention to 
making a grand display than in pushing operations against 
the enemy. Rumors of the impending change grew more 
and more numerous, and finally, on the second of Novem- 
ber, General Fremont was officially notified of his removal 
from command and the appointment of General Hunter 
in his place. 

Then on the third came the report that the enemy was 
in force at Wilson's Creek, and tlie plan of battle was 
formed. But the arrival of General Hunter at midnight 
caused the order for the troops to march at daybreak to 
be countermanded, and so the army did not move out to 
fight, greatly to the disappointment of our young friends. 

It was fortunate for Fremont's reputation that the army 
did not make the proposed mai'ch, as the fact would have 
been revealed, which was discovered next day by a recon- 
noitering party which General Hunter sent out, that there 
was not a rebel camped on the old battleground or any 
where near it. A scouting party of about fifty men had 
been in the neighborhood, but they did not remain an hour; 
they had simply satisfied themselves that the Union army 


was still in Springfield, and then returned to their army 
at Cassville. 

" How could General Fremont have been so deceived ?" 
was the very natural inquiry of Jack when it became known 
exactly how little foundation there was for the report of 
the near presence of the enemy, 

" He was deceived by his scouts, I presume," said Harry, 
" Suppose we ask one of our friends, who ' 11 know more 
about it," 

So they referred the matter to one of the soldiers 
•attached to the commissary department, and the latter 
explained as follows : 

"You understand," said he, "that a general must 
depend a good deal on what his scouts tell him, and to 
avoid being deceived by them he is compelled to use a 
great deal of judgment. There are three classes of scouts : 
those who are really brave, cool and truthful ; those who 
intend to be honest, but are timid and credulous, and lastly 
those who are born liars and boasters. The first are not 
always to be had, and at best are scarce, and so a general's 
scouting force is largely made up of the second and third 
classes. The second class get their information from the 
frightened inhabitants, and the fifty or so that composed 
the scouting party of rebels which came as far as Wil- 
son's Creek were easily magnified into five or ten thou- 
sand; the imagination and fears of the scouts doubled 
the numbers given by the inhabitants, and thus the ficti- 
tious army was created. As for the liars and boasters, they 
are always, if their stories could be believed, doing prodigies 
of valor and whipping ten or twenty times their number 
of the enemy, 

" What they principally do is to scare the people through 
whose country they ride, and many of them are not above 
plundering after a fasliion no better than downright 
robbery. Generally they are in no hurry to meet the 


enemy face to face, but confine their scouting to places 
tliat are entirely safe." 

The soldier knew what he was talking about. Among 
Fremont's followers were several men of this sort with the 
rank of captain or lieutenant, and several who were unat- 
tached to any command and had an air of mystery about 
them. One of them used to ride out of camp about sunset 
as though bent on an important mission. He would return 
in the morning with a thrilling story of a night's ride, in 
which he had several times been fired upon by rebel scout- 
ing parties, and had used his revolver with such effect as 
to leave five or perhaps ten of his enemies dead upon the 

The fact was he went only a mile or two, and there 
spent the night at a farmhouse, having previously in- 
formed himself as to the entire safety of the place. 

Another so-called scout was a forager whose equal is 
rarely to be seen. Whenever the army went into camp 
he would take half-a-dozen companions and start on a for- 
aging expedition, from which he returned with a varied 
assortment of things, most of which were utterly unsuited 
to the uses of an army in the field and had to be left be- 
hind. One day he brought back a wagon drawn by two 
oxen and two cows, and with a horse attached behind it. 
Inside the wagon he had a ]3air of bull-terrier pups about 
three months old, a hoopskirt, and other articles of the 
feminine wardrobe, a baby's cradle and also a grain-reap- 
ing one, a rocking-chair, some battered railway-spikes, 
three door-mats and a side-saddle. Another time he re- 
turned with a family carriage drawn by a horse and a 
mule, and containing a litter of young kittens without the 
mother-cat, a bird-cage with a frightened canary in it, an 
empty parrot-cage, several bound volumes of sermons by 
celebrated English divines, and a box of garden-seeds. 

This same scout got into trouble afterwards in a queer 


sort of a way. While on a foraging tour at one time he 
secured a lot of ready-made clothing, which he found in 
a trunk where some salt belonging to the rebel author- 
ities had been stored. The quartermaster refused to re- 
ceive the trunk and contents, and so the captain carried 
it to St. Louis and took it to the hotel where he temporarily 

It so happened that some detectives were hunting for 
a suspected thief, who was said to be stopping at the hotel. 
They got into the captain's room by mistake and searched 
his trunk while he was absent ; they did not find the arti- 
cles they sought but they did find thirteen coats of differ- 
ent sizes, without any waistcoats or trousers to match. 
This was considered such a remarkable wardrobe for a 
gentleman to carry, that they did not hesitate to arrest 
him on general principles. He was locked up over night 
and did not succeed in obtaining his liberty until the quar- 
termaster could be found to show that the goods were 
not stolen, but were simply the spoils of war. 

Immediately after his removal, General Fremont, who 
had been in command just one hundred days, returned 
with his staff to St. Louis, and the army was ordered back 
to the line of the railway. On the ninth of November it 
evacuated Springfield, which was soon after occupied by 
General Price, and the second campaign of the Southwest 
was over. General Hunter remained only fifteen days in 
command and was succeeded by General Halleck, who 
proceeded to undo jn-etty nearly everything that Fremont 
had established. 

Late in November Jack and Harry foimd themselves 
once more in Kolla, where a part of the army of the South- 
west went into winter quarters. The rebels were con- 
tent to remain in Spring-field, though they sent scouting 
and foraging parties at irregular intervals to scour the 
country between those two points and gather whatever 


supplies could be obtained. The commander at Kolla also 
sent out similar expeditions, which were frequently ac- 
companied by our young friends, and thus each army was 
fairly well informed as to what the other was doing. 

The retirement of the Union forces gave the rebels 
great encouragement, and they pushed their recruiting 
through the interior country with great activity. They 
threatened to capture St. Louis, at least in Avords, and so 
loud were their promises that many of their sympathizers 
believed them. 

During January, 1862, the camp at Rolla was increased 
by the arrival of troops from Illinois, Iowa and Kansas, 
and it was evident that the spring was to oi:)en with an- 
other campaign. General Samuel R. Curtis arrived and 
took command, transportation was cut down as much as 
possible, stores were accumulated and sent forward as far 
as the Gasconade river, a cavalry division under General 
Carr was pushed forward, and by degrees the country was 
occupied to within fifty miles of Springfield, where Price's 
army was known to be in force. It was ascertained that 
McCulloch's army had gone into a winter camp at Cross 
Hollows, in Arkansas, and would probably move north in 
the spring to join Price, or in case of a Union advance 
would wait where it was until Price could fall back to 
that position. 

Among the regiments that came to Rolla was the Ninth 
Iowa, which contained several oflScers and many men of 
the First Iowa, which had been mustered out of service 
after its return from Wilson's Creek, its time having ex- 
pired. Its colonel, William Vandever, was assigned to 
the command of a brigade, so that the control of the regi- 
ment fell to its lieutenant-colonel, F. J. Ilerron, who had 
fought at Wilson's Creek as a captain in the First Iowa. 

Jack and Harry were overjoyed to see so many of their 
old acquaintances, and at the request of Colonel Vandever 


the two youths were turned over to his care. They had 
made such a good record in their scouting services during 
their stay at Rolla, that Colonel Vandever, whom we will 
now call general, as he was shortly afterward promoted 
to that rank, decided to make use of them as scouts and 
orderlies whenever occasion offered. They were allowed 
to retain their horses, of which they had taken excellent 
care. The animals showed much attachment to their 
young masters, and evidently were quite reconciled to 
serving under the Union flag instead of the rebel one, 
beneath which they were captured. 

Orders to advance were impatiently waited, and at last 
they came. Early in February the army of General 
Curtis moved out of Rolla with drums beating and 
trumpets sounding, and every indication of a determina- 
tion to push on to victory. Sixteen thousand men, in the 
proper proportions of infantry, artillery and cavalry, 
composed the force which was to carry the flag across 
the borders of Missouri and into the rebellious state of 

But before we follow the army of the Southwest and 
make note of its fortunes, let us briefly turn our gaze else- 





Careful students of the war did not fail to see that 
there Avas a systematic advance along the whole line from 
Virginia to Missouri during the early part of February, 
186'2. During the winter work on the gun-boat fleet had 
been vigorously pushed and many steamboats puchased 
or hired as transports. As fast as the ironclads were 
ready to move they were sent to Cairo, Illinois where the 
transports Avere assembled and vast amounts of stores 
had been accumulated. General Grant was in command at 
Cairo, and that aqueous town was a vast encampment. 
At the same time the army at RoUa had been strengthened, 
as we have already seen, and the movement of each force 
was practically simultaneous. 

Nor was this all. From Washington the army moved 
into Virginia, and the checkered campaign of 1862 began. 
Tlien a fleet and an army went down the Atlantic coast 
and captured New-Berne, North Carolina, and farther 
down the coast there was an aggressive move against 
Charleston. Then at the mouth of the Mississippi a fleet 
of war ships appeared, backed by a fleet of transports 
carrying a land force ready to occupy and hold whatever 
the fleet' secured. In Kentucky the Army of the Ohio 
occupied Bowling Green, and prepared to move upon 

The first success along the whole line of attack was 


when on the sixth of February the fleet under Admiral 
Foote bombarded Fort Henry and compelled its surrender. 
Then followed the attack on Fort Donelson, when General 
Grant " moved immediately upon the works " of General 
Buckner and took him a prisoner, together with all those 
of liis garrison that could not escape. The whole North 
was in a blaze of excitement as the news was published 
in the papers, which appeared in the form of-" Extras," 
with a great many lines of heading to a very few lines of 
news. Such a sensation had not happened since the battle 
of Bull Run, in the previous year — and, unlike that of Bull 
Run, the story was one of victory and not of disaster. 

The effect of the news in a city like St. Louis, whose 
population was divided in sentiment, was a curious study 
to the outsider. A man's sympathies could be known 
half a block away by the expression of his face and the 
air with whicli he greeted his friends. If he was for the 
Union his head was high in the air and his countenance 
showed him to be "smiling all over;" but if he sympa- 
thized with the rebellion, his steps were sad and slow and 
his head was downcast, as though he had lost a ten cent 
piece or a diamond ring, and was on the lookout to find 
it. There was no occasion to ask a man how he felt ; the 
subject was too momentous to permit him to conceal his 

When the newsboys appeared with the extras they 
were eagerly patronized by the Union men and as eagerly 
repelled by the Secessionists. One boy had the temerity to 
enter the store of a noted Secessionist and shout in sten- 
torian tones, " 'Ere's yer extra ; all about the capture of 
Fort Donelson ! " 

That boy soon had reason to believe that his presence 

was not desired there and his wares were unwelcome. 

He sold no papers in that store, and moreover he was 

ejected from it a moment after entering on the toe of a 



number ten boot. His ejectment was no trifling matter 
as it carried him quite to tlie edge of the sidewalk. He 
got up again, as tliough nothing liad happened, and went 
on with his business as usual. 

It is sad to record that there was a great deal of drink- 
ing in St. Louis over the result of Grant's movement 
against Donelson. The Union men drank in joy and con- 
gratulation, while the Secessionists did likewise to drown 
their sorrow. In Chicago and other Xorthern cities the 
drinking was more one-sided than in St. Louis, but the 
average to each inhabitant was not greater. 

It is said that on some of the dead-walls of Chicago 
the day of the fall of Donelson a placard was posted to 
the effect that every man found sober at nine o'clock in 
the evening would be arrested for disloyalty. History 
does not record that there were any arrests in Chicago 
that day for disloyalty. Whether there was anybody 
around at that hour capable of making arrests is also 
without record. 

Having thus taken a general survey of the field, we 
will return to Jack and Harry, whom we left Avitli the 
Army of the Southwest. 

The army moved, as before stated, and encountered no 
opposition as it advanced beyond the Gasconade river 
and occupied the town of Lebanon, sixty-five miles from 
Rolla. Harry called Jack's attention to the desolation 
that seemed to prevail along the route, compared with 
what the road was when they first saw it on the retreat 
from Wilson's Creek. Many houses had been burned, 
and many of those that escaped the torch were without 
occupants. In every instance where inquiry was made it 
Avas found that the burned or deserted house had been 
the property of a Union citizen who had been driven 
away by his rebel neighbors or by scouting parties from 
Price's army. 


The few people that remained were ahiiost destitute of 
food, and it was next to impossible to obtain feed for 
horses. The country had suffered terribly from the 
ravages of war, and was destined to suffer still further 
before the war ended. As long as the war lasted it was 
infested by roving- bands of guerrillas, although the regular 
armies of the Confederacy had been forced much farther 
to the south. At first the Secessionists encouraged the 
presence of these guerrillas, but after a time they found 
their exactions so great that they would gladly have rid 
themselves of their so-called " friends." 

The roads were bad and the march was slow, but in 
spite of the bad roads and the wintry weather the army 
pushed forward resolutely. Jack and Harry found them- 
selves covered with mud at the end of every day's march, 
and as they were frequently sent with scouting parties 
away from the road, their horses as well as themselves 
were pretty well used up when night arrived ; but they 
came out as lively as ever the next morning, . and the 
horses seemed to echo the words of their young masters, 
that they were having a good time. 

On one'of their scouting expeditions they stopped at a 
house wliose owner boasted that he had built it himself 
and lived in it for seventeen years, and though it wasn't 
equal to some of the fine houses in Springfield or Lebanon, 
it was as good as he wanted. It was built of logs, like 
the ordinary frontier dwelling, and consisted of a single 
room, where the family of six persons lived, ate and slept. 
It had a door but no window, and in order to have light 
in the daytime it was necessary to keep the door open, no 
matter how cold the weather might be. Near the house 
was a smaller one of the same sort, and this was occupied 
by three negroes, the slaves of the owner of the place. 

Harry found on inquii-y that the man had bought these 
slaves from the money he had saved by selling the produce 


of his farm, preferring to invest in this kind of property 
rather than build a more comfortable house, with glass 
windows and other luxuries. One of the slaves was cook 
and housemaid, the second was the family nurse, and the 
third, a man about fifty years old, attended to the stable 
and out-door work in general. The master worked in the 
field with his colored property, but he said that when he 
had " two more niggers " he would have all his time taken 
up looking after them. Naturally he was in sympathy 
with the rebellion, and did not believe in the Yankees 
and Dutch coming along and setting the slaves free. 

The black man watched for a chance to speak to one of 
the boys, and after a little maneuvering hemanaged to do 
so without being seen by his master. 

" Ef you Linkum folks wants to find some rebs," said 
the darkey to Harry, with a grin, " I knows whar you '11 
find 'em." 

"Where's that?" 

" You jest go down dis yere road about a mile and you '11 
find some of 'em with a wagon load o' pork dey 's takin' 
to Price's army." 

" How many rebs are there with the wagon ? " 

" Dere 's six on 'em — free is on horses and free in der 
wagon. Dey 's been gettin' dat pork round yar, and 
hain't been gone more 'n half an hour. I knows dey 's 
going ter stop at der creek to fix one of de wheels, and 
you '11 find 'em dar. Don't let on wher yer found 'em out." 

" Of course ]iot," was the reply. " We '11 keep you all 
safe. Now clear out, and don't look at us to see which 
way we go." 

There were six of them in the scouting party, and they 
were entirely able to cope with the escort of the wagon. 
Harry slipped to the side of the sergeant in command and 
said they 'd better be oft", and he would then tell him 

THE LOST AR3fY. 149 

The sergeant then said to his men that it was time to 
be getting back, and gave the order for mounting. At 
the end of the Uttle lane where the house stood they 
stopped for consultation, Harry telling what he had learned, 
and suggesting, that in order to divert suspicion, they had 
best start the other way and then suddenly turn about as 
though a new idea had occurred to them. 

The sergeant acted under Harry's suggestion. The 
party went half-a-dozen rods one way and then turned 
about and cantered slowly down the road in the direction 
indicated by the negro. 

" Steady, now, boys," said the sergeant. " Don't pump 
your horses, but keep them fresh for a dash when we 
want to make it." 

So they went gently along, Harry keeping a little in 
advance to watch out for the wagon of which they were 
in search. The road rose and fell over the undulations of 
the ground, and when they had gone about a mile it was 
evident that they were coming to a depression, which was 
probably the bed of the creek. 

Harry hugged the trees at thq side of the road, so as to 
screen himself from sight. His horse pricked his ears 
and evidently scented the presence of other animals of 
his race. 

A few more steps in advance and the wagon was in 
sight. It was standing close to the creek, and the men 
were busy adjusting one of the wheels, the three horse- 
men having dismounted and tied their steeds to some 
trees a dozen yards away. 

The sergeant gave the order to advance at a walk, and 
if possible get between the men and their horses before 
the presence of an enemy was discovered. As soon as 
they were seen they would go in with a dash. 

They were not able to carry out the plan completely, 
but for all practical purposes it succeeded. When the 


first of the rebel party saw the advancing Federals they 
had not time to secure their horses. The sergeant gave 
the order for an advance, and in the squad dashed, in tine 

The sergeant had told Jack to get hold of the saddle- 
horses the first thing, and he did so. The rest of the 
party surrounded the wagon. The rebels showed fight, 
but, taken at a disadvantage and with the carbines of the 
cavalrymen aimed at them, they surrendered before any 
blood had been spilt, but not without an exchange of 
shots, of which Harry received one through the sleeve of 
his coat. 

The prisoners were secured and marched back in the 
direction of the road where the army was on its march. 
The wheel was speedily adjusted, and then Harry 
mounted the box of the wagon and soon made the four 
mules that comprised its team understand their duty. 
The captured horses were led behind the wagon along 
with Harry's horse. Without further adventure the party 
reached the camp, and the pork intended for Price's army 
found its way down the throats of General Vandever's 





It was impossible to prevent news of the advance of 
tlie Union forces being carried to General Price at Spring- 
field. That astute commander knew that he was in no 
condition to cope with an army of sixteen thousand men, 
and so he wisely withdrew when certain that he would 
have to fight if he remained. He left in haste and did not 
take time to pack up all his correspondence, of which a 
considerable portion fell into the hands of the invaders. 

General Curtis had hoped to surround Price in Spring- 
field and prevent his retreat; he did surround the town 
on two of its four sides, but left the other two wide open, 
and consequently Price was able to march serenely and 
leisurely down the road in the direction of the Arkansas 

General Sigel was sent along a parallel road in the hope 
of heading off Price, but the latter got wind of the move- 
ment and accelerated his own speed so that heading 
oft" was out of the question. Then, too, his rear was 
rather closely followed by General Curtis's cavalry, so 
that the rear-guard pressed against the column in front 
of it and urged the retreat. General Sigel's ofiicers after- 
wards complained that they were foiled in their heading- 
off attempt by the vigorous pursuit of the cavalry that 
led the main column. 

Jack and Harry were with a scouting party that visited 


the deserted camp of the rebels close to the town of Spring- 
field, and were much interested in studying the buildings 
which had been erected for the use of the troops. They 
consisted of log and board structures, and were sufficiently 
numerous and extensive to accommodate ten thousand 
men, in the way troops are lodged in barracks, without 
any overcrowding. The log-houses were well chinked 
with nmd and clay, and the board ones were well built 
and comfortable ; both kinds of buildings had floorings of 
boards, and at one end of every house there was a chimney 
and a fireplace. 

" In some of the camps," said Jack afterwards, in de- 
scribing the place to a friend, "the buildings seemed to 
have been dropped down hap-hazard, without any effort 
at regularity, while in other camps they were laid out 
into streets and lanes. Some of the streets had signs at 
the corners, and of course the names were sure to be those 
of the Confederate generals. The bunks were arranged 
in tiers, sometimes four or five in a tier ; some of the 
roofs of the buildings were covered with rawhide, and we 
saw several chairs and sofas seated with the same material. 

" We thought by the looks of the place that they must 
have left in a hurry. There was a dead pig lying on the 
ground with the knife still sticking in his throat, and 
close by was a sheep hanging on a peg in the side of a 
house, with its skin about half taken off. Dough was 
fresh in the pans, and there were cooking utensils in con- 
siderable number, many of them containing food wholly 
or partially cooked. They took away their blankets, 
hardly one having been left behind. The sick men who 
remained in camp said that there was a very short supply 
of blankets, and they were sure the army would suffer 
greatly for want of proper clothing and covering. 

" I 'm certain they left in a great hurry," continued Jack, 
" or I would n't have this." 


As he spoke he drew from his pocket a gold watch, 
which he had found in a bunk in one of the houses, 
evidently a house where the officers of a regiment were 
lodged. It was a pleasing souvenir of the visit to the 
camp, and Jack said he hoped to carry it home to show 
to his friends in Iowa. 

"And what did you find, Harry?" said one of the 
listeners, turning to the other of our young friends. 

" There were no gold watches, or even a silver one, in 
any bunk that I examined ; but I found this, which was 
quite likely a treasured possession of its former owner as 
much as was the watch to the man who left it behind for 
Jack to pick up. But it would n't sell for as much ; in 
fact, I don't think it would bring any price at all in the 
market, as it 's only a bundle of love-letters." 

Then he read some of the letters aloud, to the great 
amusement of the entire party. It is a fact worthy of 
record that anybody's love-letters are amusing, and gener- 
ally silly, to all except the one person for whom they are 
intended and the other person who writes them. 

The love element was not stronger than the devotion of 
the fair writers to the cause of the South. One of them 
urged her lover to stay with the army and fight till the 
last slave-stealing Yankee was put out of existence and the 
triumph of the Confederacy was assured, "And you 
won't have long to stay," she added, "as we hear the 
northern people are starving, and all of them are fast get- 
ting sick of the war. They won't be able to hire any more 
Dutchmen to fight for them, and when they can't hire 
Dutchmen the war will stop and the South will be inde- 

" I know I can trust you when you get among the 
northern women," she says in conclusion ; " and am sure 
you won't forget me and fall in love with one of those ill- 
looking, wheezing, whining, ignorant creatures. That 's 


what Johnny Scott says all the Yankee women are like, 
and he 's been North three or four times, you know." 

"Poor, dear, confiding girl," said Harry. "I 'm afraid 
Johnny Scott wanted to make her mind easy about her 
far-off sweetheart, and so invented this charming fiction 
about the northern lasses. How her eyes would be opened 
if she could take a run through the cities and country 
towns all the way from the state of Maine to the Missouri 
river and see the thousands and thousands of pretty faces 
that could be seen there." 

To judge by the passages of the letters giving the news 
and rumors concerning the progress of the war, it was 
evident that the most astounding stories of the prowess 
of the southern soldiers and the cowardice of the northern 
ones were in active circulation. The latter had been de- 
feated over and over again, and generally ran at the first 
fire ; sometimes they even ran before a shot was fired, and 
gave the enemy the victoi-y without spilling a drop of 

There was an amusing juxtaposition of paragraphs, one 
of which said the Yankees were being driven back every- 
where as fast as they could be met, and the other saying 
they were pushing down into the South all the time 
" further and further." Evidently the writer of the letter 
was puzzled at this, for she says : 

" I asked Colonel Jones that if we were whipping the 
Yanks all the time, how it was they kept coming further 
down South as fast as we whipped them. He said a 
woman could n't understand war ; he could excuse my ask- 
ing such a question, but if it had been a man that asked 
it he would have arrested him for a Yankee spy. Of 
course I am aware, Charles, that I don't know anything 
about war, and I wish you 'd write me something, so that 
I can talk understandingly. I think I can guess it ; the 
southern generals want to entice the Yanks down into 


the South, and when they get ready to kill the whole lot, 
none of them can get away." 

This was the explanation given on several occasions by 
the rebel leaders in reply to inquiries as to the reasons 
for certain retirements of the rebel troops. A letter from 
Colonel Thomas IT. Price, of General Price's staff, was 
among the correspondence captured at Springfield. It 
had been left behind by the general in his hasty departure. 
This letter was dated at Memphis, January sixth, and con- 
tained, among other information, the following : 

* * * I shall start in the morning for Richmond. I have not the 
leastwish or curiosity to go, but Major Anderson and Colonel Hunt, 
of the Quartermaster and Ordnance Departments, advise to go 
immediately there. I tell everybody who mentions your retreat 
that you only moved your camp to be more convenient to forage, 

There were many other letters which the rebel general 
left behind in his flight that were of special interest to the 
union commanders, as they revealed the methods of re- 
cruiting and gathering provisions in the Confederate 
states. There was a complaint that the governor of Ar- 
kansas had placed an embargo on the shipment of pork, 
corn and other produce to New Orleans, on the ground 
that it would all be needed for feeding the Arkansas troops 
in the field. One man said he had bought twelve thousand 
pounds of pork to ship to New Orleans, and on which he 
expected a handsome profit, but owing to the action of the 
governor he was unable to sell a pound of it. 

This was agreeable news to the union commanders, as 
it went far to insure a good supply of provisions in any 
movements the Army of the Southwest might make in 
Arkansas. Various letters gave the strength of the rebel 
forces at difterent points, and altogether a good deal of 
information was obtained from the captured correspond- 


The rebels had established a foundry and armory at 
Springfield. In the former they were casting shot and 
shell for the use of the artillerymen, and far the latter 
small arms were being repaired and cartridges made for 
the infantry, while swords were fashioned and put in 
serviceable condition for the cavalry. 

Several buildings were filled with provisions, one large 
one being quite untouched. The reason why the torch 
was not applied to these storehouses and their contents 
will be seen later on. 





The union army followed closely after the rebel one, 
and for more than a hundred miles the chase was con- 
tinued. Sometimes the advance of the pursuers was not 
more than a mile or two from the rear of the pursued. A 
retreating army always has the advantage, as it has a 
clear road, while the advancing one must carefully recon- 
noiter the ground to prevent falling into ambuscades. 
Then, too, the retreating force can forage upon the 
country, where there is anything to be obtained in it, and 
by clearing it of provisions and supplies of every kind 
make it a difficult matter for the pursuers to feed them- 
selves, unless by waiting for the wagon-trains, which are 
always an encumbrance and hinder rapid movements. 

General Price did not stop to form ambuscades or other- 
wise engage the advance of General Curtis, but kept 
straight on toward the southwest till he formed a junction 
with McCuUoch at Cross Hollows in northern Arkansas. 
Cross Hollows is a curious sort of a place, and is Avell 
described by its name. The rolling and hilly country is 
suddenly broken by a series of ravines that spread out 
from a common center like the rays of a star. Ravines 
in this part of the country are generally known by the 
more prosaic name of " Hollows," and the crossing of the 
hollows gives the name to the locality. 

The main road from Sprhigfield to Fayetteville and the 


southwest traverses the center of the hollows. A short 
distance before reaching the hollows it crosses a fine 
stream of water, wliich bears the name of Sugar Creek. 
The water of Sugar Creek is pure, like that of a mountain 
brook. In its shallow parts it is without color, but wher- 
ever it attains a depth of thirty inches or more it is deeply 
tinged with blue. This is the character of the streams 
generally through that section of country, and when one 
looks down from a height upon the valley of one of these 
streams the effect of the pools of blue alternating with 
the white water of the shallow portions and the green 
of the enclosing banks forms a very pretty picture. 

Down to that time none of the union forces in south- 
west Missouri had ever crossed the line into Arlcansas. 
General Vandever's brigade was leading the advance of 
the infantry column, a half mile or so behind the cavalry, 
and Jack and Harry were as far in front as they were 
permitted to go. When the head of the column reached 
the line a halt was ordered, the regiments were closed up, 
and preparations were made for commemorating the inva- 
sion of the seceded state- in an imposing manner. 

For some days the bands had been practicing the music 
of " The Arkansas Traveler," one of the far-seeing officers 
of the staff having supplied the leaders with the score. 
After the column had been halted two of the bands were 
brought forward and stationed on each side of the road, 
where a post marked the boundary between Missouri and 
Arkansas. When all was ready the bands started up 
" The Arkansas Traveler," and with their rifles at right- 
shoulder shift, and in column of fours the infantry filed 
past. As each company crossed the frontier a loud cheer 
was given, and the greatest enthusiasm prevailed. To add 
to the good spirits of the men the news of the fall of Fort 
Donelson reached them and spread like wildfire on their 
first night in camp on the soil of Arkansas. 


Price and McCullocli united their forces at Cross Hol- 
lows and made a stand against tlie union advance, though 
evidently not a serious one, as there was only a slight 
skirmish, after which the rebels retired in the direction of 
Fayetteville twenty-two miles further on. The cavalry 
division pursued them to that point, but the infantry 
halted at Cross Hollows. Even at Fayetteville the rebels 
did not feel strong enough to make a fight, but continued 
their retreat after a short resistance over the Boston 
Mountains in the direction of Fort Smith, where for a 
long time the United States government had formerly 
maintained a military post. 

The rebels had accumulated at Fayetteville a consider- 
able supply of bacon, corn and other materials for feeding 
their army, and when our troops arrived most of the store- 
houses containing these supplies were on fire. It was 
afterward ascertained that the burning of these store- 
houses had been the cause of a serious dispute between 
Price and McCulloch — a renewal of their quarrel at the 
time of the Wilson's Creek campaign. 

Price wanted to leave these supplies for the use of the 
union army, and he argued as follows : We 've got to 
retrea.t, and the union army is going to stay here till we 
drive them out. They are in our country, and more than 
two hundred miles from their base. They will forage on 
the country for a large part of their supplies, and if we 
leave this bacon and corn they will have just so much less 
to take from the people, who are our people, and not 
theirs. Arkansas is a seceded state, and the Yankees 
and Dutch won't have any compunctions about living on 
the state that they might have in Missouri, which they 
claim to be still in the union, and are trying to keep there. 
The easier it is for them to find their living the easier it 
will be for Arkansas. 

On this line of argument Price opposed the destruction 


of the supplies. McCullocli opposed his view of the 
matter, and said it was no part of their business to help 
feed the Yankee army, and what happened to the people 
was simply the fortune of war. The quarrel reached its 
height and came near a fighting point when McCulloch 
accused Price of disloyalty to the South and a willingness 
to see Arkansas subjugated by the Northern troops. 

Price was overruled and the stores were set on fire. 
His prediction was verified, as the union forces foraged 
right and left among the people, and certainly caused them 
much more hardship than would have been the case had 
tlie supplies fallen into our hands. Which of them was 
right in the argument the reader may decide for himself. 
Certainly the question, like most matters on which men 
differ, had two well-defined sides. 

McCulloch's army had spent the winter at Cross Hol- 
lows, where it erected buildings capable of lodging eight 
or ten thousand men. When the rebels retired from 
Cross Hollows these buildings were set on fire, and by the 
time our troops arrived all but half a dozen of them had 
been consumed. The ashes remained to mark the spot, 
and the positions of the smoking ash-heaps showed that 
the cantonment was laid out with the regularity of a care- 
fully-platted town. 

The Third Blinois Cavalry, which was attached to 
General Vandever's brigade, followed closely upon the 
heels of the enemy after the skirmish at Sugar Creek, and 
pushed on in the direction of Fayetteville. A single com- 
pany was retained by the general for scouting purposes, 
and to this company Jack and Harry were temporarily 
attached. The youths were among the first to enter the 
rebel cantonment and try to save what they could from 
the flames. 

Harry's sharp eyes fell upon some chickens, of which a 
hundred or more were running wildly about the place. 

Death of General Lyon. 

Page 84. 


The slaughter of the innocents began at once ; chickens 
were not abundant in that part of the country, and. Harry 
thought a fine fowl would be very welcome at the general's 
mess-table that evening, and he was also of the opinion 
that a similar bird would taste well for himself and 

He secured two, and remarked to Jack that they were 
the thinnest birds of the kind he had yet come across, 
" But they 're chickens, anyhow," said he, " and if they 're 
too tough for broiling they will do well in a stew," 

Jack w^as equally fortunate in his chicken hunt, but his 
second bird was a surprise that caused his eyes to open 
very wide. 

" Just look at this," said he to Harry, as he pointed to 
the legs of the fowl ; " wonder what this means ? " 

The objects that arrested his attention were a pair of 
steel " gaffs " as sharp as needles, and attached by straps 
and cords to the legs of the chicken ; they were hollow at 
the base, so that they passed over the natural spurs of the 

" I never saw anything like this," said Jack, " and don't 
believe it grows there." 

" Nor I either," replied Harry. " Here comes the 
general ; let 's show it to him and find out what it 's all 

Jack ran to General Vandever and exhibited his dis- 
covery. The latter immediately ordered the slaughter of 
the chickens to cease, and it was stopped at once, but not 
till two-thirds of the number about the camp had 

" These are game cocks," said the general, " and they 're 
kept for fighting purposes. I heard that the Third 
Louisiana had a lot of game cocks, and were keeping 
them here for amusing themselves. They come from a 
chicken-fighting region, and this is one of their favorite 


sports. They get up matches, on which they bet heavily, 
and then the fighting-cocks are equipped with these spurs 
or gaffs, and put in the ring against eacli other. Tlie bird 
that can first pierce the otlier witli tliese gaffs generally 
wins the fight, as a well-directed blow with them is 

" Probably we interrupted a fight," the general con- 
tinued. " This bird was certainly all ready for the ring, 
and if you look around you '11 find another similarly 
equipped and about to proceed to business." 

Sure enough, the antagonist of the bird was found in 
the hands of a soldier ; at any rate, there was another 
chicken with the gaffs on that had been killed before his 
character was known. Game chickens are not considered 
edible except in case of emergency. Those that had been 
killed were, however, duly served up, as it was thought 
extravagant to waste anything in the chicken line at that 
particular time. It was as Harry had predicted, the 
chickens were not good for broiling, but they did fairly 
well when stewed, especially when the stewing continued 
all night. 

The birds that were saved from slaughter were the 
source of much amusement to the officers while the army 
remained in camp at Cross Hollows. Almost every day 
there was a cock-fight in front of one of the tents, but it 
was generally bloodless, as nobody knew anything about 
handling the birds, and the steel gaffs were never used. 
The names of the rebel leaders were given to the fighters, 
and it was a common occurrence to have Beauregard 
pitted against Jeff Davis, Price against McCulloch, or Lee 
against Johnston. General Vandever turned two of the 
birds over to the care of Jack and Harry. Harry's pet 
was called Magruder, and Jack's received the fighting name 
of Breckinridge. 

In the first encounter Breckinridge tore three feathers 


out of Magriider's neck and otherwise disabled him, so 
that Harry lost his wager. But as betting in money was 
not in order, and the stakes consisted only of army crackers, 
the youths' losses were not heavy. 

One after another the fighting-chickens went to the 
cooking-pots, as they were not securely guarded and 
several of the ofiicers had negro servants. There is a 
traditional affinity between the negro and the chicken, an 
afiinity which results in the absorbing of the latter by the 
former. Some of the negro servants were good foragers, 
and ran considerable risk iu their search for supplies, as 
we shall see later on. 





For two weeks after the army reached Cross Hollows it 
remained apparently inactive, though really far from idle. 
Foraging expeditions were constantly in motion, scouting 
parties were sent out in every direction, and small forces 
of infantry and cavalry went to visit the various villages 
and towns within a radius of fifty miles to the east 
and west. Several times detachments of cavalry visited 
Fayetteville, and made sure that the rebels had not re- 
occupied the place. 

As already intimated the negro servants of the officers 
were active in search of chickens and other articles of 
food. General Vandever and Colonel Herron had as man- 
ager of their mess a negro named William, generally ab- 
breviated to Bill, who could scent a chicken at least a 
mile away, and a concealed ham even though a load of hay 
had been piled on top of it. In the same brigade was the 
Twenty-fifth Missouri, commanded by Colonel John S. 
Phelps. The latter officer rejoiced in a negro named Jake, 
and he and Bill went together almost daily in a hunt for 
provisions. Not infrequently they ventured beyond 
the lines, and on two or three occasions had narrow 
escapes from capture. 

One evening Bill gave the following account of the day's 
performance : 

" Me and Jake went out for to find suthin', and I says 


to Jake that chickens was gettin' mighty sca'ce round 
yere. We went out on a side road off from de Fayette- 
ville road, and while we was at a house dere and trying 
to find out if dere was any chickens in de cliicken-house, 
and if de man wliat owned de place was to home or not, 
we heern a noise. 

" I looks out o' de chicken-house, and down de road 
I sees some dust, and in dat dust I sees two or free dozen 
rebs. I jest says ' Rebs ' to Jake, and him and me lit out 
o' dat dere chicken-house and over behind der barn and 
den we got out inter de road. 

" De rebs dey comes up and stops at der house, and den 
me and Jake lit out for camp. And yer jest ort to a-seen 
Jake run ; dere nebber was a nigger run like Jake 
did ; he jest streaked it along ez if a tiger was arter 
him, and mighty near cotchin' him, too." 

Here Bill doubled himself up with laughing at the pict- 
ure presented by the swift-footed Jake. After laughing 
awhile he paused, and repeated his belief that Jake was, 
" de runnin'est nigger dat eber was know'd." 

" Well, what did you do. Bill ? " said the general, when 
the negro stopped laughing long enough to permit the 
question to be edged in. 

» Wot did I do ? Wot do yer s'pose I did, Gineral ? I 
jest retreated, fell back, alongside o' Jake, and got inter 
camp 'bout five minutes ahead of him." 

" And that 's the way of Avar," the general remarked to 
the rest of the party. "We retreat or fall back, but 
others run." 

Jack and Harry had a retreat of this sort one day when 
out in search of a quantity of bacon that was said to be 
concealed in a barn several miles away. They did n't get 
the bacon, but they did get a brush with a sindlar but 
larger party of the enemy, probably on the same 
baconian intent. Being in the minority, the union squad- 


ron retired in good though somewhat rapid order, which 
was doubtless described afterward by tlie rebels who wit- 
nessed it as a dead run. Harry admitted as much to a 
friend, but insisted that it was a retreat, and not a run 
for safety. 

Rumors reached the ai'my that the rebels had formed a 
camp about twenty-five miles south of Fayetteville, and 
were receiving reinforcements. The position at Cross 
Hollows Avas a strong one, and in view of the reports from 
the front General Curtis did not care to advance, and thus 
abandon his very desirable camp. With an abundant 
supply of water, and with the natural advantages of the 
ridges that bounded the hollows, and on which his artil- 
lery was planted, he thought it best to wait there for the 
advance of the enemy rather than advance to Fayetteville. 

The front of the army was extended so that it covered 
a distance of about five miles, the camps being pushed out 
to the south of Cross Hollows and the wings extended 
both ways from the line of the main road. General 
Sigel's division was moved to Bentonville, several miles 
to the west of Cross Hollows, in order to increase the 
opportunities of foraging for supplies and also to guard 
the roads in that direction. It was supposed that the 
advance of the main body of the enemy would be along 
the main road, and only a small force would be sufficient 
to hold the roads on the flanks. The rear of the union 
army was at Sugar Creek, and the quartermaster's train, 
heavily laden with supplies, was along this creek and at 
Elkhorn Tavern, a country hotel, which derived its name 
from a pair of antlers or elkhorns over the front 

On the second and third of March several expeditions 
were sent out for the purpose of collecting supplies and 
also of breaking up small camps where the rebels were 
said to be recruiting. One of these expeditions went in 


the direction of Pineville, Missouri, and arrived within 
half a mile of the object of its search, when it received 
orders to return. It got hack to camp without meeting 
the enemy, but it was afterward ascertained that it crossed 
the intersection of two roads only half an hour before 
a rebel division reached that spot in sufficient force to 
have completely overwhelmed the little detachment. 

Another detachment which went to Maysville, near the 
western boundary of Arkansas, was completely cut off 
and compelled to march northward to avoid capture, A 
third expedition went to Huntsville, in Madison county, 
to break up a rebel camp ; but it failed of its mission, as 
the rebels had left two days before it arrived there. 

Harry and Jack accompanied this expedition, and there- 
fore we have a special interest in knowing how it turned 
out. We will let Harry tell the story of their adventures. 

" We were not a large party," wrote Harry afterward ; 
"only a thousand men in all. There was a part of the 
Ninth Iowa and the Twenty-fifth Hilissouri, two companies 
of cavalry and two pieces of light artillery from the Du- 
buque battery. General Yandever commanded the ex- 
pedition, and we expected to be away four or five days. 

" We were two days getting to Huntsville, where we 
found the rebels that we were after had gone. Huntsville 
is an Arkansas county-seat of two or three hundred in- 
habitants, and hardly an able-bodied man could be found 
in the whole place ; all were away fighting in the rebel 
ranks. The principal store in the place was a whisky- 
shop, and the proprietor claimed to be a union man. One 
of the officers, a captain, bought a canteen of whisky of 
him, and offered a United States treasury note in pay- 

" The man took the note and looked at it carefully. 
Then he returned it, saying he must have either gold or 
Confederate paper money. 


" ' Isn't this good enough ? ' the captain asked. 

" ' Good enough as long as you-'uns are here,' said the 
man ; ' but wlien you turn your backs the otlier fellows 
would hang me if I had that kind of money.' 

" Nobody had any Confederate paper, and the captain 
didn't know what to do. He wanted the man's whisky, 
as the weather was cold, but he knew the fellow was right 
about getting into trouble for having our money. 

" Another of the officers had been in the first expedition 
to Fayetteville, and happened to have in his pocket a 
whole sheet of private ' shinplasters,' or promises to pay, 
that he picked up in a printing-office in that town. He 
took the sheet from his pocket and asked if that was the 
kind of money the man wanted. 

" ' Just the thing,' said the whisky-dealer. ' Give me 
one of them slips and you can have a canteen of whisky 
for it.' 

" The slip was cut from the sheet and handed over. 
The man's attention ^vas called to the fact that it had not 
been signed, but he declared it was just as good, and no- 
body would know the difference. 

" Another and another and another were cut off, and 
finally the whole sheet had been disposed of for canteens 
of bad whisky. Then somebody fished out another sheet 
of the same sort of stuft", and the whisky-dealer did a 
lively stroke of business as long as the paper lasted. Prob- 
ably he worked it off on his neighbors and suffered no 
loss owing to the notes having been without signa- 

" Well, we did n't make many prisoners at Huntsville, 
but the few we did make set us thinking pretty lively. 

" We picked up four or five men of no particular con- 
sequence, and they were examined apart from each other 
to make sure that they had not patched up lies to tell us. 
Next we picked up two men who had left the rebel army 


only twenty-four hours before, for the reason that they 
had no weapons and were simply useless mouths to feed. 
"They gave us the startlmg intelligence that the rebels 
were already advancing to attack our army. They had 
left the camp about twenty-five miles south of Fayette- 
ville, but not until they actually saw the troops marching 
out on the road to the north. They said there were 
thirty thousand of the rebels, and they were commanded 
by General Van Dorn. 

" General Vandever immediately sent off a courier with 
this information to General Curtis, and very soon after- 
ward he gave the order to return to camp. We went 
about six miles and then camped, but before we had been 
in camp an hour we had a courier from General Curtis 
with the same information and ordering our immediate 

"General Vandever," continued Harry, "gave orders 
for us to start out of camp at two o'clock and make a 
forced march to rejoin the main column. Do you know 
what a forced march is ? 

" Well, it 's something pretty tough when you have to 
make it, as it means a march without any rest until it is 
ended. We had forty-one miles to go that day, and it 
took us from two in the morning until ten at night, but 
we did it. It was n't so bad for the cavalry and artillery, 
as they had their horses, but it was terrible for the in- 
fantry. The word passed along the lines that the enemy 
was on the road to attack us. General Vandever had 
great fears that the rebels knew of our expedition and 
would try to cut us off at the crosshig of the White river, 
and so he hurried on till he got the stream behind us. 
There was about three feet of water at the ford, and to 
save the infantrymen from getting their feet wet, and 
consequently sore, he crossed tliem over with the cavalry. 
An infantry soldier jumped up behind a cavalryman and 


was soon on the other side. Others climbea on the 
caissons of the artillery, and so by two trips of thecavahy 
tlie whole force was crossed over with dry feet. 

" We only halted for about fifteen minutes at a time, 
and three times in all during that long day's march. 
The infantrymen were completely tired out when they 
got into camp, but they were ready for the battle the 
next day, and they did good work, too, you may be sure. 

" While we were on the march we met couriers that 
had been sent out hy General Curtis to tell us that fight- 
ing had already begun away on the right of our line where 
General Sigel was. They also told us that we should find 
the center or main position at Sugar Creek, where the 
shape of the ground was such as to give us a better de- 
fensive position than the one at Cross Hollows. General 
Curtis had decided to concentrate his forces there as soon 
as he heard of the rebel advance, and the movements of 
the various parts of the army had such a concentration in 

Not the least weary of these who took part in General 
Vandever 's expedition on its return to camp Avere Harry 
and Jack. The noble-hearted youths had done all they 
could to help along their comrades, and for nearly hiilf 
the way they had loaned their horses to footsore infan- 
trymen who were unable to keep up with the column. 
Harry declared that a little exercise would do him good. 
Jack shared his kindly feeling, and walked briskly along 
as though it was the greatest fun in the world. General 
Vandever said they were a pair of Mark Tapleys, who 
could be jolly under the most adverse circumstances. 

When they were yet four or five miles from camp the 
general sent Harry to give notice of the coming of the 
expedition and order a supper prepared for the weary 
men. Harry took his horse from tlie man who had been 
riding it, and darted away as fast as he could go. The 


men in camp set to work with a will, and when the ex- 
pedition arrived a supper as good as the army rations 
could supply was ready and waiting. Harry satisfied 
his own hunger and secured a good meal for Jack, who 
was not long in swallowing it ; the horses were fed and 
watered, and then the pair of young veterans stretched 
themselves on the ground to get what sleep they could 
before the breaking of day should be the signal for battle. 

^yhile they are sleeping we will look at the organization 
of the two armies, and the plans on which the battle of 
Pea Ridge was fought. 

As before stated, the army of General Curtis was about 
sixteen thousand strong when it started from Rolla, but 
the number had been reduced by leaving a garrison at 
Springfield and by the other causes that always reduce 
the strength of an army in the field, so that the aggregate 
of effective men ready for battle was little if any above 
ten thousand. It was in four divisions— the first being 
commanded by General Osterhaus, the second by General 
Asboth, the third by General Jeff C. Davis, and the 
fourth by General Carr, Some of these oflacers had not 
then received their commissions as generals and were 
still known as colonels ; but as they all rose to the rank 
shortly afterward, it will be convenient and not unjust for 
us to designate them by the higher titles, whose duties 
they were performing. 

Each division consisted of two brigades, but some of 
the brigades were very small, and did not contain enough 
men for a full regiment. General Sigel was in command 
of the first and second divisions, and thus held the position 
of a field marshal, under the superior command of General 
Curtis, the commander-in-chief. The infantry regiments 
that were in the battle of Pea PJdge on the union side were 
the Twenty-fif th,Thirty-fifth, Thirty-sixth, Thirty-seventh 
and Forty-fourth Illmois, the Eighth, Eighteenth, and 


Twenty-second Indiana,tbe Fourth and Ninth Iowa,andthe 
Second, Ninth, Fifteenth, Twelfth, Seventeenth, Twenty- 
fifth and a part of the Tliird Missouri ; of cavalry regiments 
there were the Third Iowa, the Third and Thirty-ninth 
Illinois, and the First, Fourth and Sixth Missouri together 
with two battalions of Benton hussars, and jMajor Brown's 
battalion of cavalry, which served as a body-guard to the 
general-in-chief. The artillery comprised about fifty 
field-guns of various sizes, in four and six-gun batteries, 
from the same states as were represented by the infantry. 
The rebel army was commanded by General Earl Van 
Dorn, and its aggregate was said to be not far from thirty 
thousand men. Van Dorn's army was composed as fol- 
lows : Missouri troops, under Major-General Sterling 
Price, about nine thousand ; Arkansas, Louisiana and 
Texas troops, under Brigadier-General Ben McCulloch, 
about thirteen thousand ; Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw 
and other Indian troops, with two white regiments, under 
Brigadier-General Albert Pike, about seven thousand. 
No exact statement of the number of rebel troops in the 
battle has ever been published, but the above-named 
figures are not far from the correct ones. An officer of 
Price's army wrote an account of the battle, Avhich was 
published in the Richmond Whig. In this account he 
said the rebels estimated their strength at thirty-five 
thousand, and making all deductions for stragglers and 
the usual falling off on the line of march, they had from 
twenty-five thousand to thirty thousand men to go into 





Van Dorn had learned through his spies and the coun- 
try people about the strong front presented by General 
Curtis on the northern bank of Sugar Creek and the hills 
that bordered it. He therefore made his plans for attack- 
ing on the other side, going completely around to the rear 
and placing himself between the union army and its base. 
With his great superiority of numbers he felt sure of win- 
ning the battle, and in case he did so the whole union 
force would be compelled to surrender, as it would have 
no line of retreat. Possibly some of the cavalry and 
horse artillery might get away, but this would be a small 
matter compared with the capture of the whole of the 
infantry and the immense wagon-train. 

In carrying out this plan Van Dorn left the main road 
about half-way between Sugar Creek and Fayetteville, 
and moved by a side road which is nearly parallel to the 
main one. This side road passes through Osage Springs 
and Bentonville, branching at the latter place in the direc- 
tion of Pineville, and connects with the main road near 
the Missouri state line about eight miles further north. 
The men carried rations for four days, and all were confi- 
dent that by the end of that time they would be living 
on the stores they were to capture from the union army. 

At Bentonville, ten miles from the main camp at Sugar 
Creek, Van Dorn's advance encountered General Sigel's 


command on the sixth of March, and had a sharply-con- 
tested battle, though not a very destructive one on either 
side. At first General Sigel supposed it was only a scout- 
ing party that had advanced, but very soon the numbers 
increased so rapidly that he saw it necessary to retreat. 
And just as the attack began he received orders from 
General Curtis to fall back to Sugar Creek, and conse- 
quently his movements had the double stimulus of obedi- 
ence to his superior and overwhelming numbers of the 

The retreat was skilfully conducted, and was pro- 
nounced by impartial students of the war a splendid dis- 
play of military ability. Sigel sent his train ahead and 
got it away safely ; then he put the rest of his forces in 
motion, holding the enemy at bay with a single battery 
of artillery and about one thousand of his best infantry. 
As the enemy advanced it was met with a vigorous fire of 
shot and shell from the rapidly- worked guns, supported 
by the infantry. Half the battery was used for this pur- 
pose, and while the advancing forces of the rebels were 
thus checked and thrown into confusion, the rest of the 
battery was sent ahead to take up a good position. 

As soon as the report came that the otlier section was 
in position the first would be limbered up and rapidly 
rushed on, the infantry fell back to the support of the 
guns which were ready for their Avork, and then as the 
enemy advanced the reception of a few minutes before 
was repeated. Meantime the first section had taken up a 
new position ; and, fighting in this way, the retreat was 
brilliantly successful, and Sigel's forces joined those of 
Curtis before nightfall. 

What made Sigel's success all the greater was that the 
roads were in sad condition, being cut up by recent 
rains, and all of them narrow. Much of the country was 
wooded, and in some places densely so ; but this circum- 


stance, while a disadvantage to the retreating force, was 
also a hindrance to the assailing one, as they were liable 
to fall into ambuscades unless they exercised great caution. 
Sigel's loss in this retreat was less than one hundred men 
altogether, and a good part of these were captured by 
going on a wrong road and marching directly into the 
enemy's lines. During the night a battery of four pieces 
met the same fate, and the incident was thus humorously 
described by one of the rebel officers : 

" It was a little after dark," said he, " when our pickets 
heard and soon saw a battery coming leisurely along the 
road. The sergeant in charge of the picket took in the 
situation at once, and when the battery came up to him 
he promptly challenged it. In the gloom of the night the 
captain did not observe the gray uniforms, and thought 
himself among friends. 

" ' We want to find General Asboth's Division,' said 
the captain. 

"'All right,' replied the sergeant. 'Keep along this 
road, and you '11 find it on the left. I '11 send a man along 
to show you.' 

" The captain thanked the sergeant and accepted the 
guide, who took the battery into camp and quietly 
told the boys what was up. They gathered around, and 
before they knew where they were the artillerymen were 
snaked oft" their horses and told to surrender. The poor 
devil of a captain was awfully down in the mouth when 
he found what a trap he 'd walked into." 

During the night of the sixth Van Dorn kept most of 
his men in motion, so that by daylight he had stretched 
his line completely across the road between the union 
army and its base at Springfield. General Curtis at the 
same time was not idle, and changed his position, as we 
have before stated, converting into the front what had 
formerly been his rear. This compelled him to move all 


his wagons, excepting such as had already fallen into the 
hands of the enemy, which, happily, were not numerous ; 
but it also compelled him to fight on ground that had no 
advantages for him, as would have been the case on the 
Sugar Creek front ; besides, it was even better known to 
the rebels than to himself, as they had nearly all the 
people of the country on their side. 

This was the state of affairs when Harry and Jack 
returned from their expedition with General Vandever. 
From a resident of the country they learned that the 
ground where the union army was encamped was known 
as Pea Ridge. Here was the force of General Curtis that 
was to fight with nearly three times its number. It was 
a wooded table-land with occasional openings, where the 
timber had been cleared away to make room for fields. 
There was hardly any water upon it, and for the two 
entire days of the battle few of the animals had an oppor- 
tunity to drink. The men also suffered severely, but as 
a supply could be taken from Sugar Creek, at the rear of 
the camp, they were less badly off than the horses and 

"VVe will let Harry tell the story of the battle, which he 
did in an account that he sent home, and was afterward 
delighted to see in print. 

" Neither Jack nor I got much sleep last night, as we 
were all eagerness to see how the next day was going to 
turn out ; and even if we had been sleepy, the noises that 
kept up all night long would have interfered with us a 
good deal. Our men that had walked so far were allowed 
to rest, but most of the other regiments were moved about 
so as to have them in a good position for the day's work, 
that was sure to be very lively. 

"Very soon after daylight the scouts came in and told 
General Curtis that the country to the north, right along 
our road to Springfield, was full of rebels, and they were 


advancing to attack us. The general thought it would 
be a good thing to attack them first, or at all events to 
meet them before they got close up to where we were. 

"General Sigel was on our left with the divisions of 
Generals Osterhaus and Asboth. It was reported that a 
heavy force of rebels were coming in that direction, and 
so Sigel was ordered to meet them. He sent General 
Osterhaus out for that purpose, and he reached the line 
on the road running north from Benton ville without 
opposition. Just beyond the road he encountered what 
was supposed to be a small body of rebels, who were 
posted in a wood, and in order to drive them out he 
opened fire upon them with three cannon. After a few 
rounds had been fired he ordered the artillery to stop, and 
sent some cavalry to finish the fighting and clear the 

" Well, the wood was cleared ; but it was cleared the 
other way from what had been expected. Instead of a 
few rebels there, it turned out that ' the woods were full 
of 'em,' the place being held by Pike's division of white 
and Indian troops. The cavalry met a heavy fire of rifles, 
shotguns and small arms of every kind, and the charge 
was completely broken up ; and not only was the charge 
broken up, but the rebels followed the retreating cavalry, 
and in the confusion they managed to capture the three 
cannon that had been shelling them. 

" But they did n't keep the cannon very long, for Gen- 
eral Osterhaus brought up his infantry and drove the rebels 
away. The white and red rebels were busy plundering 
and scalping the men they had captured, and were quar- 
reling over the possession of the horses and saddles, and 
while their attention was thus drawn away they were at- 
tacked and defeated. The Indians and whites were all 
mixed up in this fight, and several of the Indians were 
left dead on the ground, along with some Texans, who 


were armed with big bowie-knives in addition to their 
firearms. Tlie Texan s fought with these linives, and sev- 
eral of our soldiers were killed by them." 

This statement was made at tlie time, and has been 
denied by the rebels. In proof of the correctness of the 
assertion the following quotation from a rebel account in 
the Richmond Whiff of April 9, 1862, ought to suffice : 

" About forty-five men lay in the space of two or three liundred 
yards to the rear of the battery ; all save one entirely dead, and aU 
but tliree Dutchmen. One was gasping in the agonies of dissolu- 
tion ; three were our comrades. Here was a sterner feature of the 
war than any I had yet seen. The Texans, with their large, heavy 
knives, had riven skulls in twain, mingling blood and brains and 
hair. The sight was a sad one, but not devoid of satisfaction to 
our own exiles from home and wife." 

Pea Ridge would seem to have been the scene of more 
barbaric fighting than any other battle of the war, when 
we include the performances of Texans and Indians ; but 
in defense of the Texans it may be said that the bowie- 
knife is really no more barbaric a weapon than the sword 
in its mode of operation, whatever may be urged against 
the practice of carrying it habitually. The wounds de- 
scribed by the writer in the Richmond Whic/ could easily 
be attributed to a cavalry saber and nobody would think 
it out of the ordinary modes of warfare. 

With the increase of civilization in Texas and the 
Southwest generally since the war the bowie-knife seems 
to have gone out of fashion. Little is heard of it noAva- 
days, and as the state of Texas has a law imposing a 
heavy fine for the carrying of concealed weajDons, it is 
probable that this famous implement will soon be forgot- 
ten altogether, and be seen only in museums by the side 
of the tomahawk and scalping-knife. 

" Why is it called the bowie-knife ? " a youthful reader 


It is so called after Colonel Bowie, its inventor. His 
name has clung to his knife just as that of Doctor Guil- 
lotin has adhered to the beheading machine which he 
designed, and that of Colonel Colt to his revolving 





Van Dorn's movements were delayed by the obstruc- 
tions on the roads by which he moved. As soon as Gen- 
eral Curtis became satisfied that the rebels were trying to 
get around to his rear, he ordered General Dodge, who 
commanded the fourth division of the army, to cut down 
trees along the road leading north from Bentonville, and 
the order was instantly carried out. General Dodge had 
been ill in his tent for three days, but when the news of 
the approaching enemy reached him he was cured as if by 
magic. Remarking that it was no time to be sick, he got 
out of bed, assumed the active command of his division, 
and during the afternoon of the sixth supervised the work 
of a large detail of men, who felled trees across the road 
and otherwise blocked it to delay the rebel advance. He 
kept at it until the rebel skirmishers began to fire upon 
his men, and as he had orders not to bring on an engage- 
ment he prudently withdrew. 

" General Dodge was a trump," said Harry afterwards, 
when telling the story of the battle ; " sick in his tent and 
in the doctor's hands before the battle began, he was al- 
most constantly in the saddle for three days. When the 
battle was over and the enemy had retreated, he dropped 
to the ground and went back to his sick-bed. It 's a good 
example of what a man can do under excitement." 

"And there was another example of the same sort," said 


Jack. " There was Major Post, of the Thirty-seventh Ilh- 
nois who became General PhiUp Sidney Post, and served 
gallantly in a good many battles. Early on the second 
day at Pea Ridge he was wounded in the arm, but he kept 
his place with his regiment and would not stop to have his 
wound dressed. The surgeon insisted, but he would n't 
go. ' T can walk and give orders,' he said, ' even if I can't 
use my arm, and I 'm going to stay here.' The colonel of 
his regiment had to order him to go to the field hospital. 
He went very reluctantly, as he wanted to see the battle 
fought out to the end, and was determined to do all he 
could toward winning it." 

The same spirit prevailed among officers and men 
throughout the whole army. Of course there were in- 
stances of shirking, as will always be the case in any 
battle, but they were not numerous. Pei'haps the knowl- 
edge that the enemy was right on the line of communica- 
tions, so as to cut off retreat and render surrender nec- 
essary in case of a defeat, had something to do with the 
good conduct of a few, but it could not be the case 
throughout the whole army. And to do the rebels justice, 
they displayed similar courage, but they had the advantage 
of being the attacking party and knowing that they were 
superior in numbers to the union forces. 

" On the morning of the seventh," said Harry, in his 
story of the battle, " there was great activity all through 
the union camp. Every drum and fife in the army was 
called into use, and never before had the woods of Pea 
liidge resounded to so much martial music. Rations for 
two days had been prepared, the soldier's cartridge-boxes 
were filled to their fullest capacity, every man made a 
careful inspection of the lock of his rifle to make sure that 
it was in perfect order, and then the order was given to 
load with ball cartridge and be in readiness to advance 
when the word was given. 


" We were kept waiting while General Sigel had his 
fight with the enemy on the left of our line that I 've al- 
ready told about. While we were getting ready for work 
Jack and I went to General Vandever and asked what we 
should do. 

" ' What do you want to do ? ' said he. 

" ' We want to do the best we can,' I answered, ' and help 
all we can. We '11 do anything you tell us to do.' 

" ' Well, then,' the general said, very quickly, ' stay 
near me and act as my volunteer aids till I tell you to do 
something else.' Then he turned away to attend to 
getting his brigade in order, and we stood still and waited 
till he came back. 

" He was gone only a minute or two, and then told Jack 
to ride over to General Carr and say the second brigade 
was waiting for orders. He told me to go to General 
Dodge and ask if he had received orders to move yet, and 
to let him know whenever orders came. 

"Jack came back with the order for the brigade to 
follow that of General Dodge, which had received its 
orders just before I got to it. One of General Carr's aids 
had brought the order to General Dodge, and he rode with 
me to General Vandever to repeat the order which Jack 
had already brought. 

" The order to advance \vas loudly cheered, and the 
men stepped off as gayly as though they were gohig to 
dress-parade, and most of them a great deal more so. I 
couldn 't help thinking how many of these gallant fellows 
would be stark and stiff on the ground or suffering with 
wounds before another morning sun would rise on them. 
We could hear the roll of musketry and the booming of 
cannon where General Sigel was engaged on the left, and 
before long our advance was engaged with that of the 
rebels, and the shot and shell were crashing among the 
trees as their artillery opened upon us. 


' General Dodge's brigade marched up the main road 
toward the Missouri state line, and filed off to the east 
near Elkhorn Tavern. As soon as it got into position it 
opened with a battery upon the rebels, who were posted 
in a wood on a slope in front. The battery was promptly 
replied to, and then the shots were exchanged with great 
rapidity. There were six guns on each side, though some 
of our men thought the rebels had eight or ten guns, but 
we afterward learned they had only six ; but it was the 
best battery in their whole army. Our battery was the 
First Iowa, and its captain prided himself on having 
brought it to a state of great efficiency, but he wasn 't quite 
equal to his antagonist. 

" General Vandever's brigade went a little beyond Elk- 
horn Tavern and took position on the left of the road 
nearly opposite to where General Dodge had stretched out 
to the right. As I sat on my horse close behind the gen- 
eral I could see that we had a dry ravine in front of us 
and a wooded slope farther on, and it did not need sharp 
eyes to discover that this slope was well occupied by 
rebels. The general ordered the Dabuque battery 
(Captain Hayden) to open fire on these gray and butternut 
coats, and as he did so there was a lively running of the 
fellows to cover. They showed by their actions that 
Captain Hayden's shots were well aimed; but we had 
not given them more than two or three rounds before a 
battery on the other side replied to us. 

" That battery was evidently in the hands of a good 
officer, as he got our range at the very first fire. A shot 
came whistling close to the general, and 1 thought it 
passed between him and me, but an officer who was there 
said it went over our heads. You have no, idea if you 've 
never heard it, what a spiteful screeching a cannon-shot 
makes when it goes by you. Involuntarily you dodge, 
but really dodging is of no use, as the ball has gone past 


you before you hear it. A cannon-ball moves a great deal 
faster than sound. According to our school-books sound 
moves one thousand one hundred and forty-two feet a 
second, and the scientific gunners say the velocity of a 
cannon-ball is from one thousand four hundred to 
one thousand, eight hundred feet a second. That of a 
rifle-ball is greater, and so by the time you can hear the 
sound made by a missile, whether large or small, it has 
gone way past you. 

" At the third tire the rebels blew up one of our limber- 
chests, which' was standing close behind the gun to which 
it belonged. The great puff of smoke that rose from it 
showed the rebels that they were taking good aim, and 
they poured in their shot very ra^jidly after that. In ten 
minutes more they blew up another limber-chest, and 
then the general ordered the battery to change its position, 
and sent me to carry the order to Captain Hay den. 

"It was about nine o'clock in the morning when the 
first shots were exchanged on this part of the field, and 
in fifteen minutes the whole of General Carr's division 
was engaged. Before I could get to Captain Hayden to 
give him General Yandever's order the rebels made a rush 
upon the battery and captured one of the guns ; the rest 
were hauled back a short distance, and at the same time 
the Ninth Iowa, which was supporting the battery, poured 
in a heavy fire and covered the ground with the enemy's 
dead and wounded. The rebels were driven back to their 
cover in the woods, and the gun that had been captured 
was retaken, as they did not have time to drag it from 
the field. 

" ' They stand like veterans,' said General Yandever, 
referring to the soldiers of the Ninth Iowa. ' Their long 
march yesterday has n't affected their courage. There 
were never better men on a battlefield.' 

" Just as he said this Colonel Herron, of the Ninth came 


up, and the general congratulated him ; and then the 
general rode along the line and said to the soldiers the 
same that he had to their commander. The men cheered 
him and were evidently determined to do their part to- 
ward winning the battle for the union side. But would they 
succeed against all those masses of men that could be 
seen on the hill-slope to the east and west, and crowded 
in the brushwood and among the trees that stretched 
away to the north ? 

" After this for a while there was a lull in the fighting, 
and meantime we could hear the artillery and small arms 
to the left, where General Sigel and General Davis, with 
their divisions, were sustaining the shock of the enemy. 
They were overmatched in numbers, but their weapons 
were more effective, and they had a better supply of am- 
nnuiition. Many of the enemy were armed only with 
squirrel-rifles and shot-guns, and, of course, they could 
not load and fire with the rapidity of our men. Had they 
been able to do so, and had their weapons been equally 
effective with ours, the battle would have been hope- 
lessly lost to us by reason of the great superiority of the 
rebels in numbers alone and their better knowledge of the 

" By and by we heard that Sigel and Davis had driven 
away the enemy and were slowly drawing in their lines, 
as only a small force were in front of them. The attack 
on General Carr's division was renewed by the rebel artil- 
lery, and we could see that they had a great number of 
men gathered behind their battery to charge upon our 
lines at the i^roper moment. So General Carr sent an 
order for General Vandever to fall back, and at the same 
time he gave a similar order to General Dodge. 

"We fell back perhaps a hundred and fifty yards, close 
to Elkhorn Tavern and a little to the north of it. There 
our battery opened fire again, still supported by the Ninth 


Iowa, and there the rebel battery again poured its fire 
upon us. 

" Near the house were two companies of infantry drawn 
up in line and waiting orders to move. I had just gone 
to carry an order for them to come up to the support of 
the Ninth, when a, shell passed close to me and struck in 
their ranks, where it burst. Two of the men were killed 
and five were wounded by this shell. Almost at the same 
time another shell exploded on the ground in front of the 
house and shattered the leg of a soldier who stood there. 
Another fell among some horse-teams, frightening the 
animals into running away. They dashed up the road in 
the direction of the enemy, and were lost in a cloud of 
dust. In its runaway career one of the wagons knocked 
down some of our soldiers, wounding one seriously and 
two or three slightly. A solid shot struck the house and 
went completely through it, but did no damage to any one, 
as the family had taken refuge iu the cellar." 





" When I had delivered my orders, and just as I was 
returning to General Yandever," continues Harry, " the 
rebels made a charge upon our battery and the infantry 
that supported it. This was about noon, or perhaps a little 
later ; I can't say exactly, as I was too much excited to 
make a note of the time. 

" It was n't a bayonet charge that they made, because 
they had no bayonets to charge with. They charged with 
double-barreled shotguns, loaded with ball and buckshot, 
and to judge by the result, the shotgun in this way is a 
formidable weapon. They reserved their fire until they 
were pretty close to our lines ; then they delivered it at 
short range and without taking any particular aim, rely- 
ing on the scattering of the balls and buckshot to give a 
deadly effect to the assault. They were met with well- 
delivered volleys from our rifles and driven back, and 
they left the ground strewed with their dead and 

Again they charged, after resting a little while, and 
again they met with the same reception ; but they man- 
aged to force us back a little. Then there was another lull, 
but only a short one, and suddenly the shot and shell 
rained along tlie whole length of our line. General Dodge 
was forced back, and so was General Yandever. Many of 
our officers fell and were carried to the hospitals in the 


rear, and many of our brave soldiers were stretched on 
the ground. There was a niehincholy satisfaction in 
knowing that the enemy was losing heavily, but with his 
advantage in numbers he could keep up the fight, if only 
his ammunition held out, long after our whole force would 
be used up. General Carr sent several times for rein- 
forcements, but there were none to be sent to him. Gen- 
eral Curtis told him to ' persevere,' and so he did, and, 
fighting whenever the enemy advanced, he continued all 
through the afternoon. 

" ' I must have three regiments and two batteries, or 
sunset and darkness,' said the general, 'or I cannot hold 
on.' " 

Just before one of the charges which the rebels made 
near Elkhorn Tavern, General Yandever sent Jack with 
an order to Colonel Herron. On came the rebels, and 
down went Jack's horse with a bullet through his neck; 
another bullet grazed Jack's side, but onl}'^ scratched the 
skin, after tearing a great hole in his coat. At the same 
time Colonel Herron's horse fell dead, a cannon-shot hav- 
ing gone clear through him, and in the fall the colonel 
Avas severely hurt; a musket-ball struck his leg, and 
between the fall and the wound he was unable to stand. 
Jack rushed to his side to raise him, and as he did so the 
rebels closed around them. 

" Surrender ! " said a tall fellow in a butternut coat and 
trousers, as he flourished a shotgun and pointed it at 
Colonel Herron. 

"There 's nothing else to be done," replied the colonel. 
" But you '11 have to help me to go along with you; I don't 
believe I can walk." 

" I '11 show you how to walk," exclaimed the fellow. 
What he proposed to do will be forever unknown, as just 
then an officer came up and received the colonel's surren- 
der. He ordered two men to assist him to the rear, and 


then went on to look after the fighting that was raging in 

Jack's presence had not been specially observed, as 
both soldier and officer had been attracted to the advan- 
tage of securing the captured colonel. Jack was meditat- 
ing on the possibility of slipping through the lines some- 
how and getting to his friends, when he thought of the 
wounded colonel and the possibility of assisting him. 

" It '11 be a hard time for Colonel Herron, wounded and 
a prisoner," said Jack to himself, " and it '11 be mighty 
risky for me to try to run back through the lines. I 
might be shot by my own friends, and that I should n't 

Whether he meant by this that he had no objections to 
being shot by the enemy we will not undertake to say, 
but certain it is that he was not unlike others in being 
specially averse to being shot by mistake. One of the 
bitterest reflections that has ever been made by the 
southern people on the death of Stonewall Jackson is, that 
he was killed by his own men, who mistook him and his 
escort for a scouting party of the enemy. 

Jack had hastily made up his mind to stay by the 
colonel, when he was rudely taken in charge by one of the 
rebel soldiers and ordered to march along with him. He 
asked to be allowed to remain with Colonel Plerron. At 
first the request was refused, but on the latter giving his 
parole not to attempt to escape, and vouching that Jack 
would do the same, he was permitted to accompany the 
officer to whom he was so much attached. 

They were sent to the rear, but for some minutes were 
not out of danger, as the cannon-shot from their own lines 
were crashing through the trees or plowing up the ground 
in their vicinity. A limb cut from a tree by one of these 
shots fell close to Jack, and some of the twigs brushed 
him in their descent ; had the limb fallen upon him the 


result might have been serious. Not six feet from where 
he was standing at one time a falling branch killed a Con- 
federate soldier and severely wounded two or three others. 
A company of cavalry was completely broken up by an 
exploding shell, the horses taking alarm and becoming 
utterly uncontrollable. In spite of the efforts of their 
riders to restrain them they ran away, and the men were 
violently thrown to the ground or brushed oft" among the 

We may remark here that owing to the wooded nature 
of the ground where the battle of Pea IJidge was fought, 
the cavalry on both sides were of comparatively little use. 
Among the brushwood and trees that spread over that 
region it was impossible to preserve the formation of the 
lines sufficiently to make a charge with any effect, except 
in a very few instances. Then, too, where the artillery 
was firing, the crashing of the shot and shell among the 
trees and the falling of the limbs frightened the horses, as 
we have just seen, and rendered them worse than useless. 
The ca,valry was unable to accomplish anything of conse- 
quence, through no fault of the men, but owing to the 
nature of the country, and in several instances the runa- 
way horses demoralized the infantry by dashing through 
the lines at inopportune moments. 

The history of warfare in all ages abounds in accounts 
of panic created by runaway animals on the battlefield. 
Frightened elephants and horses caused the loss of 
battles by the Greeks, Romans and other warriors of anti- 
quity, long before the invention of gunpowder. Since its 
discovery and use the instances of its panic-producing 
qualities are numerous. So much is this the case that 
the elephant among the Eastern nations has been almost 
entirely discarded on the battlefield, and is now only used 
in war for the more prosaic purposes of a beast of burden. 
With the increased range of artillery and small-arms in 


the past forty years the horse is g-radually dimhiishing in 
importance as a fighting animal, and cavahy is chiefly 
useful nowadays for scouting purposes and for pursuing 
a demoralized enemy in retreat. 

We will leave the two captives in the hands of their 
captors and return to Harry, whom we left with General 

The Ninth Iowa -was getting out of ammunition, and 
the general sent Harry to order up a fresh supply. Away 
•he rode to the rear, where the ammunition-wagons were 
stationed, and very quickly hunted up the one that he 
w\anted and sent it forward. He not only sent but ac- 
companied it, partly in order to show the road and partly 
to make sure that the driver did not turn aside on the 
way and seek a place of greater safety than where the 
shot and shell were falling. The driver was a brave 
fellow, however, and energetically lashed his team to 
keep up with the galloping youth in front of him. 

By the tim'e they reached the fighting line the regiment 
had again fallen back, leaving Elkhorn Tavern in the 
hands of the enemy. Not only did Harry bring the am- 
munition, which was speedily distributed, but he brought 
a message from General Curtis to General Carr that he 
was about to be reinforced. 

" General Asbotli has just returned from pursuing the 
rebels on the left," said Harry, " and is coming with two 
regiments and a battery to support you." 

The word ran along the line like wildfire, and the men 
cheered heartily. Again the rebels came on in great 
force, and again they were met by a withering fire, and 
also by a bayonet charge by the infantry of both brigades 
of Carr's divisi(m. 

But the rebels were as brave as the men they were 
facing, and before the reinforcements could reach the 
sorely-pressed division there was another charge, which 


forced the union line back across a series of open fields 
to the edge of a wood, whicli gave it the same sort of 
shelter the rebels had enjoyed during the greater part of 
the day. The union forces had the advantage now, as 
the enemy was obliged to make its charges across the 
fields, which could be raked with the artillery and small- 
arms with destructive efi:'ect. 

" We 've got 'em now," said General Vandever, turning 
to one of his ofiicers; "and here we'll stick till night 
comes to stop the fighting. Sunset will come in an hour, 
and we can easily hold the position till then." 

His prediction was verified. The ^only attack made by 
the rebels on the last position was easily repulsed, and 
then the sun dipped below the horizon and the battle 
was over for the day. 

The hostile forces lay within a thousand feet or so of 
each other all through the night, neither party daring to 
light a fire anywhere along its front, for fear of revealing 
its whereabouts. The air was still, and conversation M^as 
carried on in whispers, for fear of scouts creeping close up 
to the lines and overhearing what was said. The weary 
men lay down where they were, and sought the sleep 
they so much needed after the long day's fighting. As 
for the generals and other ofiicers few of them closed an 
eye during the long night, as they were occupied with 
plans and preparations for the morrow. 

In all the camp there was no one more active than our 
young friend Harry. He sadly missed the companionship 
of Jack, but having learned from a prisoner taken in the 
last charge and repulse of the rebels that his friend was 
uninjured and with Colonel Herron, he rejoiced, on the 
whole, at the situation. "He'll be useful to the colonel, 
and perhaps it 's all for the best that he's a prisoner just 
now," was his soliloquy as he turned to General Vandever 
and asked if he had any orders. 

Indians Scalping the Dead. 

Page 206. 


" Yes," answered the general. " Go to camp and order 
up some coffee, bread and meat for the men, and send 
along their blankets and overcoats. We '11 stay right 
here through the night, and be ready for what comes in 
the morning." 

Away went Harry with the order. When he reached 
the camp he found the order had been anticipated, as the 
camp-guard and wagon-drivers had a good supper ready, 
as good as the army rations afforded, and in less than fif- 
teen minutes it was loaded into wagons, where the over- 
coats and blankets already were lulled, and dispatched 
to the front. 




"You've done well," said the general. "Now go and 
lie down somewhere and get all the sleep you can, as you '11 
have enough to do to-morrow." 

Harry touched his cap in acknowledgment of the com- 
mand and then jogged back to camp, which was not more 
than a mile to the rear. Learning that it was possible to 
get to the bank of the creek without danger, he rode down 
there and watered his horse. The animal drank long and 
eagerly, as he had not had a drop of water through the 
long and active day. Then he returned to the camp, and 
fastening the animal to a wagon- wheel, having first filled 
his nose-bag with grain, he lay down beneath the wagon 
and tried to sleep. 

But he slept very little, j^robably not thirty minutes al- 
together. Everything was in commotion around the 
camp. Ambulances were coming and going to bring in 
the wounded men ; the doctors were busy with their suf- 
fering patients ; men were sitting or standing in little 
groups, deeply engaged in speculating on the probable 
events of the morrow ; mounted men were moving about 
with orders or messages or seeking missing oflBcers or 
soldiers, and probably not one person in twenty thought 
of sleep. In the whole position occupied by the army 
during that night it is probable that the most quiet spot 
was where the division of General Carr had bivouacked 


in front of the enemy, for there, at any rate, they slept 

At the beginning of the battle in the morning all the 
teams had been harnessed, to be ready to move the wagons 
whenever M'anted. The mules had not been fed for forty- 
eight hours, nor had they received a drop of water for 
half that time. The voice of a mule at its best is not 
melodious, and when to the ordinary sound of his bray is 
added a plaintive wail of suffering it falls distressingly on 
the ear. Lower and lower grew the note till it fell to a 
moan that was well calculated to banish sleep from any 
one not entirely worn out with exertion. So thought 
Harry, and after several vain endeavors he rose to his feet 
and joined one of the groups of soldiers and drivers who 
were discussing the situation. 

During the evening the lines of the army were drawn 
in on the left and preparations were made to bring the 
forces of Sigel and Davis, who had suffered but slightly 
during the day, to the relief of the worn out division of 
General Carr, The concentration was completed by mid- 
night : General Davis's division was placed on the left, 
General Carr's in the center, and the two divisions of 
General Sigel held the right of our line. Thus arranged, 
the brunt of the fighting would be concentrated on Sigel's 
command in case the rebels remained in the positions 
where they were at nightfall. In case they had changed 
during the night, it would enable General Carr to be 
quickly re-enforced if the odds against him should be as 
heavy as they were on the day before. 

Harry rode out to the front again a little before daylight, 
and as he passed along the road he heard the sound of 
vocal music rolling up from the German regiments that 
composed the greater part of General Sigel's command. 
He was unacquainted with German, and so the words of 
the song were unknown to him, but the music under the 


circumstances sounded strangely. "And yet," he re- 
marked to himself, " it seems to me that I' ve read of some- 
thing of the kind somewhere else. 

" Now I remember," said he, suddenly, as he straightened 
in his saddle ; " it was in the Crimean war, the night be- 
fore the storming of the MalakofE and Redan and the 
capture of Sebastopol. I recall it all now ; the whole 
British army in the trenches sang the words of a Scottish 
air, with which all were familiar, and the story has been 
told in verse by Bayard Taylor. Here are some of his 
lines : 

" ' They sang of love, and not of fame, 
Forgot was Britain's glory. 
Each heart recalled a different name 
But all sang Annie Laurie. 

' ' Voice after voice caught up the song, 
Until its tender passion 
Rose like an antlieni rich and strong, 
Their battle eve's confession. 

" ' Dear girl, tlae name he dared not speak. 

Yet as the song grew louder, 

Something upon the soldier's cheek 

Washed off the stain of powder. 


'■ ' And Irish Nora's eyes are dim 

For a singer dumb and gory ; 
And Enghsli Mary mourns for him 
Who sang of Annie Laurie. 

" ' Sleep, soldiers, in your honored rest, 
Your truth and valor bearing ; 
The bravest are the tenderest, 
The loving are the daring.' 

" Perhaps that 's a love song the Germans are singing," 
thought Harry, as he paused in repeating the lines of the 
verses given above, " and they are acting over again the 
scene of the attack on Sebastopol. I hope the battle will 


turn out as well for us as did that one for the allied army 
of the English and French." 

Daybreak came and then sunrise. Harry had hoped for 
a clear morning, but his hopes were doomed to disappoint- 
ment. During the previous day the smoke had frequently 
hung thickly over the field, at times rendering the com- 
batants invisible to each other and greatly hindering the 
movements on both sides. All through that cool and 
almost frosty night the smoke hung low over the ground, 
and as the sun rose on the morning of the eighth of March 
it pierced through a cloud that seemed more like fog than 
anything else, and was first visible as a dull ball of copper, 
on which the youth could easily fix his eyes without blink- 
ing. The sun showed itself only a short time and then the 
sky became overcast, and for a while it looked as though 
the day might be rainy. 

We will now listen to Harry's account of the last day's 

" I thought they would begin at daylight, and so did 
everybody else ; or at any rate, everybody was ready on 
our side for the opening of the battle. But though we 
could see the rebels in strong force right in front of ns, 
and evidently as ready as we were, there was hardly a shot 
fired, except by the skirmishers, until after eight o'clock. 
They left the opening of the day's work to us, and we 
did n't go about it till we were ' good and ready.' 

"General Curtis intended the heaviest of the fighting 
for General Sigel's two divisions, as they had suffered 
least on the day before. The rebels had been busy during 
the night, and planted some of their batteries on a hill 
perhaps a hundred feet high, which sloped away to the 
north, but was quite steep on the face toward us. It was 
very much such a position as we had at Sugar Creek, 
where the enemy wisely chose not to attack. Xow we 
had no choice but to attack them, and they were prepared 


for a vigorous defense, as they had large masses of sup- 
porting infantry at the base of the hill on both sides, and 
also several pieces of artillery scattered among the in- 

" Under cover of the woods at the edge of the corn-field 
which lay between us and the enemy, General Sigel planted 
his batteries and drew up his infantry and cavalry where 
they could give efficient support. We wondered why the 
rebels did not open fire upon him while he was getting 
ready, but we learned afterward that they felt confident 
of defeating him when the actual fighting should begin, 
and besides they were short of artillery ammunition and 
wanted to make evei-y shot tell. They argued that if they 
opened fire the guns would be withdrawn and tliey would 
be compelled to leave the place, where they had so much 
advantage of position, and follow us wherever we drew 

" I stood where I could see pretty much all that was 
going on there, and it was certainly a wonderful picture. 
The white and withered stalks of the corn in the field 
contrasted sharply with the dark-blue coats of our men 
when they advanced from the edge of the wood to the open 
ground, and, luckily for us, the smoke blew away a little 
before eight o' clock and gave us a clear view across the 
field. We could easily make out the rebel lines and the 
positions of the cannon that were ready to open upon us. 
Our cannoneers stood to their guns and waited the com- 
mand to open fire ; the rebel artillery-men were evidently 
doing the same thing, and on both sides the infantry were 
prepared for whatever was demanded of it. 

" General Sigel gave the order, and a dozen cannon 
fired very quickly, one after the other. Each gunner took 
sight against a tree on the hill where the rebel batteries 
were stationed, and tried the effect of his shot upon it. 
The first shots were too high, and a turn of the elevating- 

THE LOST AR3fY. 199 

screw depressed the muzzle of the gun. The second shot 
was generally too liigh, though with some it proved just 
right ; but with nearly every gun the third shot was 
exactly the proper range. Then the aim was taken at 
the rebel guns that were just beginning to fire, and for 
nearly two hours there was an artillery duel, in which 
the infantry had little to do but to look on. 

" Through their glasses the officers could see that our 
fire was having terrible effect. Several of the rebel can- 
non were disabled and sent to the rear. Several of our 
guns were disabled and retired, and their places promptly 
filled by others ; but somehow the enemy did not seem to 
have a reserve to draw upon. Their fire slackened, their 
infantry seemed to be melting away, and through the 
smoke several of their men ran across to our lines and 

" This confirmed what had already been reported 
through our camp, that General McCulloch had been killed, 
and also General Mcintosh, one of their best officers, and 
formerly of the regular army. They said they had been 
entirely confident of capturing all of us, but the death 
of these generals had disheartened a good many of the 
men ; and they were very short of provisions and am- 

" We had thirty pieces of artillery playing on the rebels 
at one time. They could not respond with so many, and 
as their artillery fire slackened General Sigel suddenly 
ordered some of the guns to change their fire into the 
ranks of the infantry and cavalry that were waiting on 
the enemy's flanks ready to charge us when ordered. 

" The shell, grape and canister tore great swaths in 
the crowded ranks and piled up windrows of dead and 
wounded. No troops except the most stolid Asiatics 
could stand such a fire as that. The cavalry and infantry 
melted away, and the artillery was without support. A 


battery of three guns on an open space at one side of the 
hill, and near the road, became troublesome, and the fire 
of one of our batteries was turned upon it. Then, as the 
return fire slackened, the wind blew away the smoke and 
revealed its exact position. 

" ' Send a regiment to take that battery,' said General 
Sigel to one of his staff. 

" The honor was given to the Twelfth Missouri, and as 
soon as the order was received away they dashed for their 
woik. Across the field they went at full charge, losing 
twelve men killed outright and more than twice that 
number wounded, but not once did they halt. When the 
rebels saw them coming they rallied several companies of 
infantry to tlie support of the battery, but too late to 
save it. The charge was successful and the guns were 





" "While Sigel's batteries had been pouring their iron 
hail upon tlie hill which formed the center of the rebel 
position the divisions of Carr and Davis had slowly ad- 
vanced till they occupied the woods where the rebels were 
posted when the fight began. I should have said our 
guns stopped two or three times, partly to allow them to 
cool and partly to carry them forward to a closer range. 
The melting away of the rebel lines was the last act of 
the battle. The order to retire was given, and before 
noon the fighting was over. 

" General Sigel's command went in pursuit, while the 
rest of the army remained on the field. The chase was 
kept up for twelve miles and then given up, as the rebels 
had a fair road before them and could push on without 
danger, Avhile w^e had to be constantly on the lookout for 
ambuscades. General Sigel captured a good many wagons 
with supplies and some ammunition, and his men picked 
up about a thousand stand of arms which the fleeing 
rebels had thrown away. They were of very little use, 
as they were mostly shotguns and squirrel-rifles. The 
best among them were picked out by the oflBcers, to send 
home as trophies of the campaign and in memory of the 
battle we had won. 

" As soon as it was certain that the rebels had gone and 
the field was ours we set about lookins: after the w^ounded. 


General Vandever went to the hill wliere the rebel bat- 
teries had been posted in the morning, and took me along 
with him. Such a sight as I saw there I hope never to 
see again. 

" The ground was covered with dead and wounded men, 
the most of them dead, as they were struck down by shot 
and shell or by grape and canister. Some were killed by 
the falling limbs of trees, and one man was crushed by the 
weight of a limb five or six inches in diameter that had 
fallen directly upon his shoulders and pressed him to the 
ground. One tree had been pierced through from side to 
side by a solid shot ; its top was shivered by a shell, and 
its trunk was pierced by a dozen or more canister-balls. 
Here lay the fragments of a battery- wagon that had been 
blown up, and not far off were five artillery wheels. 
Three mules lay dead by the side of the broken wagons, 
and one of them was so torn by the explosion that little 
more than the general shape of the animal remained. 

" In a space thirty feet square I counted seven dead 
men and three wounded ones, one of the latter just gasp- 
ing his last. A little further on there were fifteen 
wounded rebels, all begging and imploring for water. I 
gave them all my canteen contained, and so did the rest 
of the party, and the general sent me oft' for more. As I 
turned my horse to ride away he jumped aside to avoid 
stepping on a prostrate man whose arm had been torn off 
by a cannon-shot, and as he jumped he almost trod on 
another whose leg had been shattered. Close by a tree 
was a dead man whose head had l)een blown off by a 
shell, and by his side was another dead man whose breast 
was pierced by a grapeshot. A letter had fallen from 
his pocket, and I sprang to the ground and picked it up, 
intending to read it later. 

" The letter was addressed to Pleasant J. Williams, 
Churchill's regiment, Fayettevil'.e, Ark. ; it was from a girl 


in Kentucky, to whom Williams was evidently engaged, 
if I may judge by the tenor of the document. I shall 
keep it in the hope of some day being able to return it to 
the writer. She was an ardent rebel, but evidently a very 
sweet and loving young woman, though, unfortunately, 
she does not inclose her photograph. 

" I went for the water as fast as I could, and wondered 
how I was to bring it, as I had but a single canteen. On 
the way 1 passed through the camp, and when I told a 
captain of the Third Illinois cavalry the object of my 
mission, he detailed four men to go with me, and told them 
to gatlier up a dozen canteens to carry water to the wounded 
men. Tired as the men and their horses were, the soldiers 
went eagerly on their errand of mercy, and it almost 
made me cry to see how tenderly they cared for the poor 
fellows who were so lately their enemies. Curious thing, 
this business of making war! Soldiers try their very 
best to kill each other, but when the fighting is over they 
do all they can to help the very men they shot down only 
a little while before. 

" Before I got back to the hill where the wounded men 
were lying a rebel surgeon had arrived with a flag of 
truce, and was doing all he could for the sufferers. But 
several were so badly hurt that they could n't be saved, 
and one of them died within two minutes after swallow- 
ing a draught of water I gave him. 

"A horrible thing happened here close to this hill. 
The bursting of shells, or some burning wads, had set fire 
to the dry leaves that covered the ground, and the woods 
were burning in every direction. We tried to remove the 
wounded before the fire reached them, and thought we 
had got them all away ; afterward some were found in 
secluded spots, and though still alive, they had been 
terribly burned and blackened by the fire among the 
leaves and fallen brushwood. One poor fellow had crawled 


close to a dry log that was set on fire by the burning 
leaves, and was so badly burned that he died soon after 
being found. The doctors said his wounds were so severe 
that it is doubtful if he could have lived even if the fire 
had not reached him. 

" We had repeatedly heard that the rebels were very 
badly supplied with shoes, and there was proof of the 
truth of this statement in the way they stripped the shoes 
from the feet of dead and mortally-wounded men, no mat- 
ter to which side they belonged. Not one corpse in 
twenty of all that I saw on the l)attlefield had shoes on 
its feet. In some cases pantaloons and coats were removed, 
but such instances were not numerous, the great need of 
the rebels seeming to be in the line of shoes. Of course, 
the clothing of our soldiers would hardly be desired by the 
rebels, as it would be dangerous for them to wear, and 
they have no ready means of changing its color. 

"The general told me to look for him at Elkhorn 
Tavern as soon as I had carried out the order about taking 
water to the wounded rebels, and I did so. On the way 
I passed the spot where a captain of a rebel battery was 
killed near the close of the battle, his head having been 
carried away by one of our cannon-shot. They said his 
name was Churchill Clark, and that he was the son of a 
prominent politician well known in the state of Missouri. 
Young Clark was educated at the military academy at 
West Point, and was said to be a splendid officer. He 
turned against the government the advantages of the educa- 
tion he had received at its expense. He was carried away 
by the idea that the right of the state was paramount to 
the right of the nation, and this is the end of states- 
rights for him — killed in battle at Pea Ridge. 

" But if the battlefield was horrible, the scene at Elk- 
horn was worse. Dead and wounded men were lying all 
about, the house was filled with wounded, and every few 


minutes a corpse was brought out to make room for a 
man whom the surgeons hoped to save. Blood was every- 
where, and the sight was a sickening one. All the medical 
men were busy as they could be, and with the hardest 
work they were not able to give much attention to each 
individual case. 

" The next morning the general sent me to Elkhorn 
with a message to one of the surgeons. Outside of the 
building was a row of corpses of officers and men mingled 
indiscriminately, most of them having died during the 
night from the effect of their wounds or after amputation 
of limbs. Several legs and arms that had been cut off, 
were lying on the ground, some of the legs having the 
stocking and perhaps a portion of the pantaloons still in 

" The attendants were busy removing the corpses and 
carrying them to a place of burial. Each was covered 
with a blanket, and officers and men were moving among 
them, raising the blanket coverings one after the other, 
in order to find some missing individual. ' That 's Captain 

,' said one of the officers, as he turned down a blanket 

and revealed a face and the double-barred shoulder-straps 
which indicated the rank of the wearer. 'That's private 

, of Co. B,' or ' that's Sergeant , of regiment,' 

were the remarks of the attendants as they went steadily 
on with their work. Here sat a soldier who was crying 
bitterly, as he had just discovered the body of his brother 
among the dead. The surgeons and their aids gave him 
no attention ; in fact, they were quite regardless of any- 
thing except the wounded whom they were trying to save. 

" Details were sent out to look carefully over the ground 
where the battle was fought, in order to bring in the 
wounded and bury the dead. The work of humanity was 
rapidly performed, and before night all the dead had been 
laid to their rest, and all the wounded, except a few who 


were not discovered until afterwards, were relieved as 
far as possible. The dead, where they lay thickly, were 
buried in trenches containing ten and in some cases 
twelve or fifteen corpses, but in most cases they were 
buried singly or by two's and three's. Most of those who 
fell at Pea Ilidge found their graves where they lay, and 
there they will sleep undisturbed through all the rest of 
this war that is convulsing the country and threatening 
the existence of a nation which was founded as the home 
of universal liberty. 

" From the hospital I carried a message to Colonel 
Bussey, of the Third Iowa Cavalry, who had returned 
from pursuing the rebels as far as Bentonville, and was 
just then in that part of the field where his regiment 
made a charge upon the combined white and Indian troops 
of General Pike, and was repulsed with the loss of several 
men. It afterward, as I have said elsewhere, rallied and 
defeated the rebels, recapturing three guns of a battery 
which had been temporarily lost. 

" The rebels may deny as much as they please that the 
Indians scalped their fallen foes, but here was the evidence 
that they did it. Eight men of Colonel Bussey's cavalry 
were killed in the charge, and the Indians occupied the 
ground immediately and took off the scalps of those eight 
men and otherwise mutilated their bodies. Some of the 
bodies indicated that the men were only wounded and not 
dead when the Indians came into possession of them by 
the repulse of the cavalry, but the scoundrels quickly 
dispatched them with the tomahawk. Marks of the 
tomahawk, or some weapon like it, were plainly visible on 
several bodies, and the surgeons who examined the gun- 
shot wounds on some of the bodies declared that they 
were not sufficient to cause death. 

"Colonel Bussey and several of his officers and men 
have made oath to the evidences of the use of the toma- 


hawk and scalping-knife by the Indian alhes of the 
rebels, and the documents will be placed on record. It is 
probable that more than this number were scalped, as 
several bodies were buried before an investigation was 
thought of, but about these eight there can be no mistake. 
We hope the rebels are proud of these murderous savages, 
who may yet turn upon them in their frenzy when least 
expected to do so. A few of the Indians were captured, 
and if our men had not been restrained by their officers 
they would have hanged or shot the rascals. General 
Curtis has allowed all the rebel surgeons to come and go 
freely under parole, with the exception of the surgeon of 
an Indian regiment ; him the general is keeping a close 
prisoner, and will send under guard to St. Louis." 

The rebels disappeared so suddenly from the battlefield 
that the union commanders could not make out where 
they had gone. General Sigel went after them in one 
direction and Colonel Bussey in another, but could not 
overtake them, and the pursuit was soon given up. It 
seems they turned off through several hollows and ravines, 
taking obscure roads, and finally reuniting in the neigh- 
borhood of Bentonville, where they camped for the night. 
A good many of them continued along the road without 
halting, determined to get a safe distance between them- 
selves and the terrible Yankees. Previous to the battle 
the oflBcers had spread the most startling stories about 
northern atrocities to prisoners, with the object of nerving 
the men up to a high pitch of courage. 

On this subject let us listen to Jack, whom Ave left in 
the hands of the enemy, and who was carried away by 
them in their retreat. 

" The night after they captured the colonel, and took 
me along with him," said Jack, " we had a hard old time 
of it. We had very little to eat, and nothing but our clothes 
to sleep in. We were no worse off than the officers and 


men around us, as there were a good many of them that 
had n't any blankets, and nearly all were ragged and fear- 
fully out at the elbows. Each man had for his rations a 
piece of corn-bread as dry as a stone and nearly as hard, 
and some of them had nothing more than an ear or two 
of corn, that they chewed on as though they were horses. 
One of the doctors dressed Colonel Herron's wounded leg. 
He could n't stand on it, and when he wanted to move 
around I helped him on one side and one of the hospital 
attendants on the other. They put him in an ambulance 
along with one of their own wounded ofiBcers and started 
us off on the road to Bentonville, and there we stayed 
through the night. Probably they would have sent us 
further if they 'd known how the next day's battle was 
coming out. 

" They were going to send me off with the soldiers, but 
Colonel Ilerron asked to be permitted to keep me as a 
personal attendant. He offered to give his parole and be- 
come responsible that I would not escape, the same as he 
had done when we were first captured, and this they ac- 
cepted after a little palaver. At one time I thought they 
wouldn't do it, and began to think I 'd have to trudge along 
the road with the soldiers. And I think I owe my good 
fortune to an old friend ; at least I '11 call him so, as he 
acted like a friend, though he had no reason to remember 
me kindly. 

" You remember the captain we helped to capture near 
Rolla when we went on our scouting expedition on foot ? " 

*' Certainly," replied Harry ; " I remember him well." 

" He was the man that befriended me," said Jack, " and 
he did it just at the right time, too. He was one of the 
officers that was debating whether to do as the colonel 
wanted, and let me go with him, and while they were 
talking a little way oft" from us he kept eying me all 
over. After a while he came up to me and said : 


" ' Are you one of the boys that was out one day on the 
road from Rolla to Pilot Knob, and found out where a 
captam had a recruiting camp ? ' 

" I turned all sorts of colors, I know, and while I was 
trying to stammer out something to convince him I was n't 
the boy he was looking for he nodded his head in a satis- 
fied sort of way. 

"I thought my case was done for and he 'd have me 
shot sure, but he only laughed and said I was made of 
good stuff and had ' got the sand,' whatever that was. 
Then he went back and talked with the others, and after 
a few minutes he came to me and said he would be re- 
sponsible for me. 

" My heart went down in my boots at this, but he did n't 
let it stay there long. ' You 're all right,' said he, ' and 
you may go with your colonel. But, first, you must give 
me your solemn word of honor that you won't try to es- 
cape as long as you are allowed to be with him.' 

" I gave my word of honor and signed a parole which 
he wrote out, and then he said he thought he could trust 
me. ' You caught me once,' said he, ' but you were n't 
under any parole, and I had no business to talk with you 
as I did. You boys did a smart thing, and just the kind 
of thing I believe in, and as long as you 're in my hands 
I '11 look out for you. And I '11 look out for you, too,' he 
added, dropping his voice, ' if you try any Yankee tricks 
on me now that you 're under parole.' 

" I repeated my promise, and felt relieved at the way he 
acted toward me. Then he hurried a man off and got 
something for us to eat. It was n't much, only a slice of 
corn-bread and a piece of bacon for me, and a tin cupful of 
tea and some more bacon and bread for the colonel. He 
told me to stay by the ambulance, where the colonel was, 
and said I could ride with the driver, except when they 
were going up-hill, where I must get off and walk." 



jack's experiences as a prisoner REBEL SOLDIERS' 


" To judge by the number of times I had to get ofif and 
walk," continued Jack, " it was up-hill pretty nearly all 
the way to Fayetteville. A wounded major of the rebel 
army was put in the ambulance alongside of Colonel 
Ilerron, and when we got to Fayetteville I had to give up 
my place to a rebel captain who had been shot in the arm. 
Of course I couldn't complain at this, and thought my- 
self lucky to have been allowed to ride so far as I did ride. 
I had to walk the rest of the way, and though I was young 
and strong, it was impossible for me to keep up with the 
ambulance when they had a good road. But as most of 
the road was bad and a good deal blocked by wagons, 
I managed to be along with the ambulance every night 
and two or three times generally during the day. It was 
lucky for me that the ambulance horses were pretty well 
tired out with overwork and poor feed, and at one time 
the driver was afraid he would n't be able to get them 
through to Van Buren, where we had been ordered 
to go. 

" There were six men on horseback who rode along with 
the ambulance, to make sure that we did n't get away. 
Our captors were evidently mindful of the old motto, 
' Fast bind, fast find,' and they had us not only on our 
parole, but under guard. When it was found that I had 
to walk I was put with half-a-dozen other prisoners in 


charge of two of the mounted men. They were rather 
surly at first, but after a while we got on good terms 
with them by helping them to pick up forage for their 
horses, of which they were in great need. There was n't 
much to be picked up, as the country had been pretty 
thoroughly cleaned out by the army in its advance to at- 
tack us, and in the previous retreat when we first came 
into the state. 

" The road over the Boston mountains is a rough one, 
and the wagons could n't get along there any faster than 
men on foot ; they had to go slow to avoid breaking axles 
and smashing A^heels, and all along the road there were 
dozens of wagons that had broken down and been aban- 
doned. Soon after we left Fayetteville the news came 
that the army had been defeated and was falling back, 
but this was treated as a rumor at first, and our rebel 
guards laughed at it as absurd. A few hours later some 
mounted men came along carrying dispatches to Fort 
Smith, and then we heard positively that our side had won 
and the rebels were really falling back. 

"I wanted to raise a cheer, but thought it would not be 
wise to do so, as our guards might make it harder for us 
if we made any sort of a demonstration. I passed the 
word among the rest, and we agreed to pretend that it 
could n't be so, as our army Mas so much smaller than 
theirs and we had used up nearly all our amnnmition at 
the time we were captured. We consoled ourselves with 
the reflection that we should probably be exchanged 
before long, as we ought to have prisoners enough in our 
hands to make an even trade. 

" We camped as soon as night came on, and I had no 
trouble in finding the colonel's ambulance and giving him 
all the help and comfort that I could. His wounded leg 
pained him a good deal, and the rebel surgeon said it 
would be better if it could be bathed in cold water. 


" I went at work at once and bathed the swollen part so 
that it visibly went down, and the pain was much less. 
I was at it for a full hour, and then the colonel made me 
lie down and sleep, as he would n't hear of my being up 
all night. I slept as sound as a log, but was up before 
daylight to give the leg another bath before we started. 
My friend, the rebel captain, came around while I was at 
work and said I seemed so handy that he reckoned they 
would keep me as a hospital attendant, and not send me 
back in exchange if they made any. I told him I did n't 
want to go back until the colonel did, and I was perfectly 
willing to be a hospital attendant as long as I could be 
with him. 

" All along the road there was great curiosity to look 
at the Yankee prisoners and see what they were like. 
By the way some of the people stared at us, they must 
have expected to see some horrid monsters, and were 
really surprised to find that we were human beings. 
Some of them abused us, and others looked on in silence, 
as they might have looked at an elephant or a five-legged 
calf. At one house, where we stopped to get a drink of 
water, a woman came out and lashed her tongue in a fit 
of rage at the ' Yankee cut-throats,' as she called us. 
She hoped we would all be hanged as soon as we got to 
Fort Smith, and if she had her way we should be strung 
up then and there. 

" Poor creature ! I did not blame her so much, as she 
had been told the most awful stories of what the Yankees 
did wherever they got possession of the country. All 
the atrocities ever committed by savages were attributed 
to us, together with some that no savages ever thought 
of. One of our guards told us that he had heard of our 
putting fifty prisoners in a log-house, having bound them 
liand and foot, and piled them up as though they had been 
so many sticks of wood. Then we piled shavings and 


straw on them till the house was filled with it, and 
after this was done we set the straw on fire. The 
house and all the prisoners were consumed, as a matter 
of course. In another case we tied prisoners to trees 
and used them as targets for our infantry soldiers to 
practice upon when learning how to handle fire-arms. 

" Of course the leaders knew better than this, but the 
stories were intended for the ignorant masses of the peo- 
ple, to excite them to rush to the defense of the imperiled 
South and save their homes from the desecration and 
destruction that they said would be certain if the Yankees 
once obtained possession of the country. But in one way 
they were ' hoist by their own petard,' to use an old 
phrase, as the fear of what might happen to them in case 
of capture caused many of the rebel soldiers at Pea Ridge 
to run away rather than face the terrible Yankees. From 
what the soldiers said, I 'm certain that this is what 
caused several regiments to break and run after they had 
fired only a few rounds from their shotguns and squirrel- 

"If this were a place for moralizing, I would say that 
lying never pays, whether by wholesale or retail. The 
rebel leaders in Arkansas found it out before the end of 
the second year of the war. 

" We got to Van Buren, on the north bank of the 
Arkansas river, three days after leaving Bentonville, and 
were pretty well used up by the time they brought us to 
a halt. The colonel was sent to the military hospital, 
which was in some wooden barracks just outside the 
town, and I was allowed to go with him as his personal 
attendant, on the same conditions as before. I ought to 
say that on the closing day of the journey I got my old 
place on the seat by the driver for the last five or six 
hours, the wounded captain having stopped in a house 
where he had friends who would take care of him until 


his arm was well enough to allow him to return to his 

" There was plenty of room in the hospital when we 
got there, but the wounded came in fast, and within two 
days it was crowded full. I made myself as useful as I 
could, and soon got into the good graces of the surgeons, 
by helping them to dress wounds and do anything else 
that came in my way. I was about the hospital during the 
day, and could come and go as I liked, only I was under 
parole not to go outside the building and the one adjoin- 
ing it. At night I slept in a sort of a guard-room at one 
end of the building, but there was n't much of a guard 
there, and I might have run away without any trouble if 
it had not been for my parole not to do so. It is just 
possible, however, that I was watched in a way I was not 
aware of, and my old friend may have ' looked out for me,' 
as he promised to do. 

"The army followed closely after us, and there was no 
doubt of the defeat and retreat of the rebels. The sol- 
diers were very much disappointed and disheartened, and 
if they could have got away without rendering themselves 
liable to be shot for desertion, I 'm sure that half of them 
would have gone within two days after they got back to 
camp. As it was, there was a great deal of straggling, 
and I heard an officer say they had lost not less than 
five thousand men in one way and another by the cam- 
paign to Pea Ridge and back again. 

" By the fourteenth the whole army, such of it as held 
together, had come in and was encamped around Van 
Buren. Some of the regiments were ferried over the river 
to Fort Smith, but the most of the troops remained on 
the north bank. I did n't have much chance to see them, 
as I was kept in the limits of the hospital, but so far as I 
could observe they were a forlorn-looking lot. 

" Only a few regiments wore the gray uniforms of the 


Confederacy, the greater number of the men being clad in 
the ordinary Iiome-spun cloth of the country familiarly 
known as 'butternut.' During the Pea Ridge campaign 
they had been very poorly fed — some of them going for 
thirty or forty hours during the retreat without a morsel 
of food other than a few grains of corn ; raw turnips and 
carrots had been considered a luxury, and the men who 
secured them were envied. Raw cabbages were eagerly 
devoured, but unfortunately the country was not stocked 
with these products of the soil, or the troops might have 
been better fed." 



jack's diplomacy HIS RETURN TO CAMP — A NEW MOVE. 

General Curtis remained a few days in the camp near 
where the battle was fought, and then, as the country 
around was exhausted of suppHes, he drew back a few 
miles to Keitsville, Missouri ; but not until he had posi- 
tively ascertained that the rebel army had retired to Fort 
Smith and Van Buren, on the line of the Arkansas river. 

A day or two after the battle negotiations were begun 
for an exchange of prisoners. Both the commanders 
were favorable to the exchange, as they were so hard 
pressed for supplies that the prisoners on their hands 
were burdensome in the way of devouring rations, and, 
besides, they required a strong guard to hold them se- 
curely. Each side wanted its men back under their own 
colors, and as the number of prisoners was about equal 
the exchange was speedily arranged. 

Colonel Hebart, of the Third Louisiana, was a prisoner 
in General Curtis's hands, and was traded off for Colonel 
Herron, and each army thus secured the return of an 
honored officer. There was some delay in arranging the 
exchange of the men of the rank and file, and in conse- 
quence of this it looked as though Jack would have to 
remain behind when Colonel Herron started from Van 
Buren for the Union camp. 

Jack was equal to the emergency, and when he learned 
that the colonel had been exchanged and was to start on 
the following morning, he devised a plan, which he un- 


folded as follows to his friend, the rebel captain, already- 
mentioned : 

" It 's clear the colonel can't walk or can't ride on horse- 
back. He 's got to be carried in an ambulance or a 

The captain admitted that this was the case. 

"He's to go in an ambulance," said the captain, "and 

I 'm to accompany him on horseback. Dr. will go 

along, too, to take care of the colonel's leg." 

"I 'm glad of that," said Jack; "but who'll drive the 
ambulance ? " 

"One of the drivers, I suppose," replied the captain. 

"Now, there's just where I can come in," said the per- 
sistent youth. 

" How so ? " 

" Why, don't you see. Captain ? Let me drive the am- 
bulance. I can do it just as well as anybody else." 

The officer shook his head with an emphasis that indi- 
cated the proposal to be sometliing quite out of the ordi- 
nary run of tilings, and not to be entertained. But Jack 
was not to be put off thus. 

" I ask it as a great favor. Captain," said he, " and I '11 
be sure to return it with interest one of these days. Let 
me drive the ambulance, and when it gets to our lines 
we '11 have one of your men drive it back, and it will 
bring some wounded officer along, if there 's one to bring. 
It will be in your charge and protected by the flag of 
truce, and you '11 save having one of your drivers go up to 
our camp and back again." 

Viewed in this light, the proposal did not seem so very 
far out of the way, and as it met the wishes of Colonel 
Herron, who was highly popular among the rebel officers 
with whom he had been brought in contact by reason of 
his amiability and courtesy of manner, the matter was 
speedily arranged. The ambulance started at the time 


appointed, and Jack handled the reins as though he had 
been bred to tlie business and intended to be at tlie liead 
of it before very long. The fact is, no great handling was 
necessary, as the horses were not at all fiery in their nat- 
ures, and had been very much reduced in flesh by the 
experiences of the campaign. 

There were no adventures of consequence on the jour- 
ney, the presence of the captain and the white flag that 
fluttered in front of the vehicle being sufficient to protect 
it from any kind of molestation. The colonel suffered 
considerably with the jolting of the ambulance, and more 
than once he half wished he had remained in captivity 
long enough to allow the wound to heal. But, on the 
other hand, he was elated at the prospect of soon being 
among his own friends, and you can be sure he was re- 
ceived with open arms by his fellow-officers. 

As for Jack, he was a person of great consequence when 
he returned to camp and told the story of his adventures 
among the rebels. His first thought was for Harry, whom 
he hunted up with the least possible delay. In fact, the 
two youths were hunting for each other, as Harry had 
heard of Jack's return with Colonel Herron from a soldier 
who had seen the flag of truce on its way to the head- 
quarters of General Curtis and recognized Jack as the 
driver of the vehicle. 

Leave of absence was granted to Colonel Herron, and he 
returned to St. Louis and thence to his home in Iowa, 
where he remained until he was restored to health. As 
soon as he could do so he went into active service again, 
and long before the end of the war his uniform was adorned 
with the double stars of a major-general. But he never 
forgot his experiences in captivity after Pea Ridge, nor 
the devotion of Jack through all those days of suffering. 

Jack offered to go with him as far as Rolla, or even to 
Iowa, if he desired ; but as the colonel had his own serv- 


ant with him, and was to be accompanied by one of the 
newspaper correspondents, who was returning to St. Louis, 
he declined the offer, as he readily divined that the youth 
had no desire to go home just then. In spite of their 
numerous experiences, both Harry and Jack thirsted for 
more, their appetites having been sharpened rather than 
dulled by what they had gone through. 

" Wonder what we '11 do now ? " said Harry one morn- 
ing as they were strolling about the camp. 

" That 's for the general to say," replied Jack, " and the 
most we can do on the subject is to guess." 

" Well, here 's for a guess," said Harry, and the pair 
sat down for a council of war on their own account. 

" From several things that were dropped in my hear- 
ing," said Jack, " while I was at Van Buren, I should n't 
wonder if the most of Van Corn's army was sent off to 
the east of the Mississippi to join the rebel forces in Ten- 
nessee. This will leave Arkansas with no army large 
enough to oppose us, and so we can go where we please." 

" That may be so," said Harry, musingly ; " but where 's 
all our supplies to come from ? We 're a long way from 
Rolla now, and if we get down into the interior of Ar- 
kansas we '11 be farther still. We '11 have to live on the 
country, and must do as the rebels do. We '11 get along 
without tea and coffee and other luxuries, and settle down 
to corn-bread and bacon. But before we start we 've got 
to replenish our stores of ammunition, and make up for 
what was consumed at Pea Ridge. In my opinion that 's 
what the general is waiting for, and we sha'n't get orders 
to march until everything is ready. It won't do to go 
down into the middle of Arkansas without being 'well 
heeled,' as they say in this part of the country." 

" Yes, but where do you think we '11 go when we start? " 
queried Jack. 

" We '11 go for the capital of the state, and I '11 bet on 


it," said Harry. " When we have taken Little Rock we 
shall virtually have the State in our possession, and that 
will be a blow to the rebels. Of course, there '11 be parts 
of it still in their hands, but the possession of the capital 
is a strong point on our side." 

The youths mentioned their belief to some of their com- 
rades, and the latter repeated it to others. The story 
grew with each repetition, and by the end of the day it was 
currently reported throughout the camp that the army 
was about to advance on Little Rock, and was only wait- 
ing for supplies and reinforcements. Inasmuch as that 
was the objective point that General Curtis then had in 
view, he was naturally puzzled to know how the story 
arose when it was reported to him. Careful and close in- 
quiry traced it to Harry and Jack, who promj^tly acknowl- 
edged their authority to be nothing more nor less than 

There was a vast amount of this amateur generalship 
during the war, and it was by no means confined to the 
men in the field. Every cross-roads grocery, and every 
place, in fact, where men assembled to the number of half 
a dozen or more, was a center of strategy, in which cam- 
paigns innumerable were laid out and battles without 
number were fought, and always won by the side on 
which the sympathies of the strategists were enlisted. 
There was hardly an editor of a newspaper who did not 
feel himself fully competent to direct the generals in the 
field how to conduct their campaigns, and if all the 
editorial advice and criticism of the war could be gathered 
and printed in a book, it would form probably the largest, 
and undoubtedly the heaviest, volume ever known. 

It was no more than natural that the soldiers in the 
field should put their brains at work to discover what 
moves were intended, and very often the generals were 
obliged to use a good deal of deception to prevent the 


premature working-out of their plans. Some of the gen- 
erals lost their temper whenever they learned that any- 
one besides themselves had been thus using his brains, 
but the majority of them took it good-naturedly, and 
regarded it as the evident outcome of an army drawn from 
the intelligent population of the North. General Curtis 
was one of those men of broad views, and he had a hearty 
laugh to himself when he found that the camp rumor was 
founded upon the amateur strategy of those enterprising 
youths, Jack and Harry. 

" By the way," said Jack to Harry, " do you know what 
the difference is between strategy and tactics ? " 

" I can't say exactly," was the embarrassed reply ; " only 
I think strategy is a good deal bigger than tactics, and 
means more." 

" There's one more syllable in it, anyhow," said Jack ; 
" but that doesn't tell the whole story. Here comes IMr. 
Fay el, the correspondent of the Missouri Democrat; lets 
ask him." 

Harry agreed to it, so the momentous question was pro- 
pounded to the good-natured gentleman, who had been 
with the army since its departure from Springfield. 

" Harry was right," said Mr. Fay el, " when he thought 
strategy was larger, and included more than tactics. 
Strategy is the art of moving armies through a country 
and conducting a military campaign. It is the science of 
military command, or the science of directing great move- 
ments. On the other hand, tactics is the science of dis- 
posing military and naval forces in order of battle and 
performing military and naval evolutions. It was strategy 
to bring the army here from Rolla, and to fall back to the 
position on Sugar Creek and get everything in shape for 
fighting. The general showed his tactics in handling the 
troops on the battlefield, and by winning the fight he 
showed himself a successful tactician." 


" Ever so much obliged to you for the explanation," said 
Harry, to which Jack added his vote of obligation. 

Harry was about to ask another question, but was in- 
terrupted by the sudden arrival of an orderly, who said 
the youths were wanted immediately at General Van- 
dever's tent. Wondering what the sndden summons 
could mean, they started at once to obey it. 




" General Curtis wants you to go on an expedition," 
said General Vandever, when the youths reported to him. 
" Are you ready for it ? " 

" Certainly, General," replied Harry ; " anything that 
you order we '11 do if we can." 

" It is n't an order," said the general, smiling, " as it is 
one of those things that come outside of orders." 

Then he paused, and the youths waited for him to con- 
tinue, which he did in a moment. 

" It 's an expedition into the enemy's country, where 
you '11 run a good deal of risk ; but, as you are not enlisted 
into the service, you can undertake it without compromis- 
ing yourselves to the same extent that a soldier would. 
You '11 have to go in disguise, and conceal your real 
character. There 's where the risk comes in." 

The general left them, while he strolled outside his 
tent, to give them an opportunity to consider the pro- 

" I 'm ready to go. Jack," said Harry," provided you are." 

" Of course I 'm ready enough," was the reply, " and feel 
sure we shall get through all right. We can play our old 
game that we succeeded with last year, though we may 
have to vary it a good deal, according to circumstances." 

When the general returned they announced their 
decision. He immediately accompanied them to General 
Curtis's tent, and they received their instructions. 


" I want you to go to Fort Scott, in Kansas, about one 
hundred miles nortliwest from here ; go as quickly as you 
can, but don't press your horses or appear to be in a great 
hurry. Take two days for the trip, or three, if necessary, 
and when you get there do as the commander of the post 
directs you. I will see that you are provided with 'but- 
ternut ' clothes during the day ; and if you are using mili- 
tary saddles on your horses, you had better change them 
for common ones of the country. 

"I have heard of the cleverness you have shown on 
previous occasions," the general continued, " and have no 
doubt you will get through all right and come back safely. 
But it will require courage and presence of mind, as you 
are likely to meet scouting parties of the enemy, and 
must be prepared to play your characters well." 

The boys promised they would do their best, and at a 
signal from General Vandever they saluted and retired. 

From a quantity of clothing in the hands of the quarter- 
master they selected two well-worn suits of common 
material of the country. Though well worn, the suits 
were clean, having been recently washed, and by order of 
General Vandever the garments were sent to General 
Curtis for his chief of staff to inspect. The inspection 
showed that they needed mending in several places, to 
insure their holding out through the journey, and they 
were accordingly submitted to the care of the headquarters' 
tailor for a few hours. To make sure that the work was 
properly done, the chief of staff had it performed in his 
own tent, and directly under his eye, being unwilling to 
trust the tailor out of sight. 

Toward evening the patched and mended garments 
were ready, and were brought by an orderly to General 
Vandever's tent. Their hats and boots were in keeping 
with the rest of their wardrobe, and when fully rigged the 
boys looked the very picture of natives of the soil of Mis- 

Jack and Harry captured by the Enemy. 

Page 226. 


souri or Arkansas. By General Yanclever's order they did 
not show themselves about the camp in their new outfit, 
but remained closely concealed in a tent in the rear of his. 
They ate a hearty supper and went early into their 
blankets, so as to be up and off before the break of day. 

Nearly two hoars before daylight their horses, which 
had been tied close to the general's tent and well fed, 
were saddled, and the boys, after swallowing a hasty and 
very early breakfast, announced themselves ready to 
start. The general bade them good-bye, and said his 
adjutant would escort them out of the lines. 

"But we have n't any dispatches yet," said Harry. 
"We supposed General Curtis had some dispatches for 
us to carry." 

" Don 't you remember, he said, ' Go to Fort Scott and 
do as the post commander directs you ' ? That 's all. 
You '11 get your orders when you arrive there." 

Satisfied with the explanation, Harry returned the gen- 
eral's good-bye, and so did Jack. The adjutant appeared 
at this moment, and under the convoy of a single cavalry- 
man they moved in the direction of the northern boundary 
of the camp. 

Under the orders of the adjutant the picket allowed the 
two youths to pass, and in a few moments they were lost 
in the darkness. They jogged slowly along the road until 
daylight came, and then, as the country became visible, 
quickened their pace. 

After riding about three hours, and meeting no inter- 
ruption, they halted at the crossing of a small creek to 
eat some of the corn-bread they carried in their pockets, 
and give their horses a chance to graze. It was Harry's 
suggestion that they should provide themselves with corn- 
bread instead of dry biscuit or hard -tack, such as formed 
the rations of the soldiers. "You see," he explained, " the 
hard-tack might give us away in case we are stopped and 


searched ; but if we carry nothing but corn-bread, which 
everybody eats in tliis country, it won't be at all suspi- 
cious." Jack agreed to the soundness of this argument, 
and accordingly corn-bread formed their sole supply of 
provisions, with the addition of a few slices of bacon. 

While they were lying on the ground, indulging in their 
very plain meal, a party of ten or twelve men appeared 
suddenly, from the direction they intended to go Their 
leader brought them to a halt, and they quickly sur- 
rounded the two boys. 

Harry and Jack were prepared for just such an emer- 
gency, and continued to munch their corn-bread with the 
greatest unconcern. The leader of the scouting party 
asked who they were and where they were going. 

" We 's from Forsyth way, and want to find some Home- 
Guard Yankees that stole two of our horses," Harry 

" Forsyth way ? Then you know Pony Matteson, down 
on Dobbin's Branch." 

" Don't know him," answered Harry, " but I 've heard 
tell of him. We ain't lived there long enough to know 
many folks ; used to live up close to Rolla, till the Yanks 
drove us out six months ago." 

This suggestion appeared satisfactory to the questioner, 
as it implied the soundness of the youths on the war-ques- 
tion. But he was not altogether convinced, and asked if 
they 'd been in the army. 

Harry answered that they tried to get down to join 
Price's army before the battle of Pea Ridge, but were 
captured by the Yankee soldiers, and only got away by 
promising to go home and stay there. Since the battle 
the country had been in the hands of the Yankees and 
Home Guards, and they had to hide in the bushes most 
of the time to keep out of the way. 

Then he went into a general denunciation of the Yan- 


kees, and gave details, somewhat garrulous, about their 
appearance and conduct. To this he added stories of what 
the people around the battlefield said about them, and 
altogether gave them anything but a good character. 

The leader cut short the talk by ordering the boys to 
stand up. N"eedless to say they obeyed, but with a wonder- 
ing expression on their faces. 

" We '11 go through you," said he, with more emphasis 
than civility in his tone, " and if we find out you 're lying 
it '11 be bad for you." 

At his orders four of the men searched the youths, turn- 
ing their pockets inside out, and looking in the inside of 
their hats and shoes. If any dispatches had been con- 
cealed there they would surely have been discovered. By 
advice of General Vandever, rather than their own inclina- 
tion, they had taken no weapons of any kind, and now 
they thanked their stars that they were unarmed. Had 
they carried their pistols they would have been of no use 
at this juncture, and would certainly have got them into 

Harry had a pocket-knife, very old and worn, and this 
he was allowed to keep. Jack had a dozen fish-hooks in 
his pocket and three or four yards of line, in addition to 
eight or ten dollars in rebel shinplasters. The shin- 
plasters and fish-hooks were appropriated by the search- 
ers, and also the line, the captain remarking that they 
could buy more line when they got home. The pieces of 
corn-bread which they had in their pockets were left to 
them, along with the pocket-knife, and then they were 
told they might go. 

Jack protested against the loss of his fish-hooks, but he 
did not continue the protest very long. Then Harry 
assumed the role of questioner, and asked about the roads 
leading to the northwest, and was particularly anxious to 
ascertain if any Home Guards had been seen in that 


direction. He described the lost horses minutely, and 
asked the captain to send word to James Pratt at Forsyth 
in case he found out where the horses were. 

With this parting request he mounted his steed, thank- 
ful that it was left to him, and Harry followed his ex- 
ample. It was fortunate for the youths that the scouting 
party were all well mounted and their horses were fresh, 
as they would have been quite likely to ask for an ex- 
change, and make it, too, without waiting to ascertain if 
an exchange was desired by the parties of the second 

" They 're pretty searching in their investigations," said 
Harry, as soon as they were out of sight and hearing. 
" It was lucky we had no dispatches about our hats or 

" Yes, indeed," responded Jack. " Wonder what the 
next party '11 do ? Perhaps they '11 make us take off our 
clothes and see if we have n't something written on our 

" That 's a good idea," said Harry. " I '11 suggest it to 
General Yandever the next time he wants to send a 
courier through the enemy's country." 

'< I have it," exclaimed Jack. " Why not put a dispatch 
under a porous or some other plaster between a fellow's 
shoulders ? Nobody would think of disturbing it." 

" Don't be so sure of that," was the reply. " The plas- 
ter is an old trick of diamond smugglers ; it has been 
successfully used, and it has also been detected. It might 
work on these country jayhawkers, but anybody of ex- 
perience is sure to have heard of it." 

As they rode along they busied themselves Avith devis- 
ing means of concealing dispatches and making ciphers 
which would be absolutely blind to the uninitiated and 
only read by those possessing the key. As fast as one of 
them designed a mode of concealment the other cited an 


instance of its previous use, and whenever one proposed 
a ciplier tlie other managed in one way or anotlier to sliow 
its defects. 

They liad about come to the conchision that Solomon 
was right when lie said there was nothing new under the 
sun, when suddenly a gruff voice from the bushes at the 
roadside called out : 

" Halt, there ! " 

They looked in the direction whence the sound came, 
and saw the muzzles of four or five rifles pointing directly 
at them. It is needless to say they halted. 

280 THE LOST AlUir. 



Their new captors proved to belong to the band through 
whose hands they had passed, as already described, and 
after another examination, in which their pockets were 
again turned inside out, they were allowed to proceed. 
As they rode on Jack suggested a new idea for their 
actions the next time they were stopped, as he was fear- 
ful they might encounter somebody from " Forsyth way," 
and thus it would be discovered that they were not tell- 
ing the truth. 

" I tell you what," said Jack, " the next time they 
stop us, if they don't come on us too suddenly, I '11 play 

" How '11 you do it?" Harry asked. 

" Why, I '11 act crazy or idiotic enough, and you can 
say you 're my brother taking me home. We live some- 
where in the western part of Missouri, and have been 
away from home a long time ; or perhaps you can locate 
us in Kansas, near Fort Scott. 

" All right," responded Harry, " we '11 try it on and 
see how it works." 

They did n't have any occasion for trying it that day, 
as they - encountered no other loving bands. They 
stopped at two or three houses along the road, partly to 
ask the way and partly to keep up their assumed charac- 
ters by asking if anything had been seen of some Home 
Guards with two horses, one a dark gray with a short 


tail and one ear notched, and the other a roan that carried 
his head very high and liad a white patch on the side of 
his nose. The white liorse was called Ironsides, Harry- 
explained, and the roan one Tatters. The people were 
evidently suspicious of strangers, and did not welcome 
them with a show of delight, but they gave them the 
directions they wanted about the roads. They were care- 
ful not to ask for Fort Scott, or any other place in Kansas, 
but confined their inquiries within the boundaries of 
Missouri. Night overtook them at a deserted house, 
and they at first thought they would sleep there, but 
after some deliberation concluded it would not be 
altogether safe. By good luck they found concealed 
among the trees a small haystack, which not only gave 
them a sleeping-place, but all the feed they wanted for 
their horses. They made a supper from their bread and 
bacon, and then picketed their animals securely, and 
while one of them watched the other slept. They feared 
to be surprised during the night or early morning by the 
owner of the haystack, or some one wlio knew of its 
existence, and they naturally wished to have time to 
get away if possible, by discovering the approach of 

They were not disturbed, and in good time in the 
morning they took to the road again in tlie direction of 
Fort Scott. The direct route would liave carried them 
through Granby and Carthage, but they prudently avoided 
both these places by taking roads that led around them. 

About ten in the forenoon they came to a house where 
there were signs of habitation, and Harry suggested that 
it would be a good place for Jack to experiment in " play- 
ing crazy." So they rode up to the house and were met 
by an old man and two or three women, who came to the 
door as they were seen approaching. 

Jack sprang from his liorse and rushed at the man as 


though he were an old and intimate friend. The man 
drew back in alarm. 

" Don't mind him," said Plarry. " He 's crazy, and 
thinks every old man he sees is his father who died ten 
years ago." 

" How de do, father ?" said Jack, taking the cue from 
Harry ; " so glad to see you, father, after all this time. 
Where 've you been so long ? " 

The man thought it best to humor the boy, and said he 
had n't been far away ; only down to the next town. 

" He 's my brother," said Harry, " and the doctors say 
the only thing to cure him is to take him home. We 've 
been down South, in Arkansas, and we 're going home to 
Bourbon county, Kansas, where mother lives." 

" Say, father, I 'm real hungry, and thought you 'd have 
breakfast ready," said Jack. " You know, you 've always 
had breakfast ready long before this time." 

There was method in Jack's madness that might have 
roused suspicion, but the very boldness of the suggestion 
was calculated to disarm it. 

"That 's the first sensible thing he 's said to-day," 
remarked Harry ; " for I 'm sure the poor boy must be 
hungry, as he has n't eaten anything since yesterday. 
The doctor told me he 'd come to his senses some time 
when he wanted anything real bad." 

The women had crowded around the group and were 
joined by half-a-dozen tow-headed children, that one after 
another put in an appearance from inner rooms or the 
rear of the house. Great sympathy was shown for the 
poor crazy boy, and a breakfast of corn-bread and bacon, 
the best that could be offered, and very acceptable it was, 
was set before them. 

Jack, while they were preparing breakfast, had gone 
about the house criticising everything and commenting 
freely on the appearance of its occupants. He was 


shrewd enough to make his comments of a flattering 
character ; he praised the beauty of the unkempt children ; 
thought one of the women looked like the governor's wife 
at Little Rock, and was sure she was his sister. When 
she denied the relationship Jack assumed anger, and 
Harry Avhispered to her that she had better humor him, 
as she certainly did resemble the governor's wife enough 
to put the idea in the boy's head. 

Jack insisted that the governor's wife was the charm- 
ingest lady in Arkansas, and as Harry echoed the senti- 
ment he found it was not received unkindly. Instead of 
eating their corn-bread dry they had molasses on it, a 
small jug of that precious article being brought out from 
some place of concealment by the woman who resembled 
the heroine of the gubernatorial mansion of the capital of 

The boys could not pay for their breakfast, as they had 
nothing to pay with. At a signal from Harry, Jack 
assumed an air of sonniolence, while the sane brother told 
the news from Arkansas and answered all questions about 
the Yankee soldiers down near the frontier. He explained 
that he had no difficulty in coming right through the 
Yankee lines, as they took pity on his poor crazy brother, 
but they would not let them stop anywhere in the camp 
nor look around to see what they had there. 

Soon after they had finished breakfast they continued 
their journey, accepting with many thanks a goodly par- 
cel of the bacon and bread which had been left over from 
the meal and would form an excellent supper. Until long 
after they were out of sight of the house Jack continued 
to wear the idiotic expression of countenance by which he 
had so successfully carried out his deception. 

"I was half ashamed of myself, in fact a good deal 
more than half," said he, " when I found how kmdly they 
treated us. They took pity on me and gave us a good 


breakfast, which we sadly needed, and they could n't have 
been more sympathetic if we 'd been of their own kith and 

" And to think I flattered that woman into believing she 
looked like the wife of the governor of Arkansas, whom 
I 've never seen, and don't know how she looks. Well, 
anyway, she had a good, pleasant face, and if the gover- 
nor's wife has as kind a heart His Excellency may be 
proud of her." 

"We '11 get even with them and make a return for their 
kindness one of these days," said Harry ; " and perhaps 
we '11 do it very soon. But it will never do to let them 
know how they were imposed upon, as it would be a 
reflection on their discernment." 

Nothing of consequence happened to the youths until 
late in the afternoon, when they were suddenly confronted 
by ten or twelve rough-looking fellows, armed with shot- 
guns and squirrel-rifles, after the usual style of the scout- 
ing parties they had already seen. But if there was any 
difi:'erence between this party and its predecessors, it was 
in favor of the earlier ones, as the crowd they were now 
facing seemed to be decidedly a worse lot. With their 
weapons aimed at the heads of the youths they ordered 
them down from their horses, threatening to shoot them 
if they did n't get down at once. 

" Now I '11 do the crazy, idiotic trick," whispered 

Harry got down from his horse, but Jack sat still and 
stared vacantly and with open mouth at the rangers. 

" Get off that horse ! " said one of the men, " and be 
quick about it." 

" Don't mind him ! " exclaimed Harry ; " he 's my crazy 
brother, and I 'm taking him home. He don't know what 
he 's doing." 

This seemed to amuse the strangers, and they drew 


down their weapons and waited to see what the lunatic 
would do next. 

Jack continued to hold his mouth open and look as 
foolish as possible. He stared at the strangers for two or 
three minutes, shifting his gaze from one to another. 
Fhially, pointing to one of the men, he said : 

"That 's General Price; I know 'tis." 

The men laughed heartily at this suggestion, and 
not the mildest of the laughers was the individual who 
had been thus designated. It is not always that the 
victim of a joke can enjoy it as well as do those about 

The newly-commissioned " general " was moiuited on a 
fine horse (which was not branded with his initials), and 
suddenly Jack took a fancy to the animal and proposed a 
trade. The general declined, and Jack insisted. To 
prove his earnestness he descended from his own steed 
and tried to pull the general down from the horse that he 
coveted ; but it is fair to presume that he did not pull 
very hard, as the general retained his place. 

All this time the men laughed heartily at the antics of 
the supposed lunatic, and they continued to laugh when 
Jack asked one of them to shoot the general because he 
would n't swap horses. As the man would n't comi^ly with 
his wish. Jack begged for a gun, that he might do the 
shooting himself, and when that was refused he threat- 
ened to find somebody who would lend him a cannon, or 
a whole dozen of them, and he would come around and 
shoot everybody that tried to stop him. 

Harry begged the men not to oppose Jack, as it only 
made him worse. Then Jack proposed to go along with 
them, so that he could get the general's horse whenever 
he got off ; a suggestion that did not meet with approval. 
But Jack insisted to such an extent that the general lost 
his temper, and began to swear roundly at both the 


youths, till he was stopped by the one who appeared to be 
the leader. 

Jack's ruse worked to a charm, as the rangers were now 
quite as desirous of getting rid of the boys as they had 
previously been to make their acquaintance. They 
assisted Harry to get Jack on his horse again, and told 
him they would stay where they were till the youths 
were out of sight. Harry mounted once more, and with 
considerable apparent difficulty persuaded Jack to accom- 
pany him. He only succeeded in doing so by exacting a 
promise from " General Price " that he would follow them 
at once and trade horses when they went into camp that 

With this understanding they rode off, and as they went 
over the crest of the ridge Harry peered over his shoulder 
and had the satisfaction of seeing their late acquaintances 
riding the other way along the road at a smart pace. 
They were greatly relieved when they saw the last of the 
jayliawkers, and devoutly hoped they would not encoun- 
ter them again. 

To make sure of being out of their reach, they rode at 
a good speed for two hours and more. The sun was about 
setting when they came to a vacant house. While they 
were looking through it and its outbuildings, in search of 
feed for their steeds, and possibly for something they 
could put into their own mouths, a squad of horsemen 
dashed up to the door, and they found themselves prison- 
ers once more. 

Things were getting lively, but they felt easy this time, 
as they saw that the uniform of their captors was the 
union blue. The squad was quickly followed by another 
and then by another, until not less than fifty mounted 
men were assembled. They were under the command 
of a captain, who proceeded to interrogate the young 

THE LOST AR3rY. 237 

Harry was inclined to be suspicious, as he had been told 
that a band of thieves wearing the federal uniform was 
scouring the country and committing atrocities such as 
the worst of the secession bands had rarely been accused 
of. So he answered by telling the old story of having 
come from the neighborhood of Forsyth, and being in 
pursuit of some horse-thieves. He again described the 
missing horses, and asked if the depredating Home 
Guards had been seen by the captain or his men. 

His course was a prudent one, as we can easily see. In 
case his captors were really union cavalrymen he knew 
that no harm was likely to come to Jack or himself. He 
was ready to declare who and what they were as soon as 
he was satisfied of the genuineness of the apparent union- 
ists ; but, if on the other hand, they should prove to be 
the band of murderers of which he had heard, the fate of 
both the youths would have been sealed, and their lives 
forfeited if they had avowed their real characters. 

Harry and Jack endured very well the searching inves- 
tigation of the captain ; stuck to the original story and did 
not reveal their true characters, and were finally turned 
over to the care of the guard, who treated them kindly, 
though without giving them the least chance for getting 
away. This was an indication in the right direction, and 
Harry proceeded to follow it up. 

Finding that the sentinel who had them in charge was 
inclined to be talkative, he engaged him in conversation, 
and soon learned enough to convince him that he was 
among friends. Then he asked to be taken before the 
captain again, as he had something to say that he had 
hitherto concealed. 

His request was conveyed to the captain, and he soon 
followed the request. When he came into the officer's 
presence, the latter impatiently said : 

" Well, young fellow, what is it now ? " 


"I want to say," responded Harry, "that we haven't 
told you the truth.' 

"That's nothing surprishig," was the reply; "very few 
people tell it nowadays in this part of the country." 

"We've told yon we were secesh," explained Harry, 
" and we 're nothing of the sort." 

" That's too thin," exclaimed the captain ; " if you think 
you're going to play union on nie you're mistaken." 

He looked the youth straight in the eye as he said this. 
Harry met his glance firmly, and after a moment's pause 
answered : 

" We don't propose to play anything on you now, since 
we 're satisfied you 're union soldiers. We were afraid 
you might be guerrillas in disguise, and so told the horse- 
stealing story that we 'd made up for our protection." 

"Well, what are you, anyway, and where are you 
going ? " 

"We're from General Curtis's army, and are going to 
Fort Scott as soon as we can get there." 

Instantly the captain's manner changed. He arose from 
his seat and said he thought they were the very boys he 
wanted to find. 

" Anyway," he continued, " we '11 accommodate you by 
taking you to Fort Scott. If you 've told the truth it will 
be all right, and if you 've lied and are the secesh you first 
made yourselves out to be you '11 have a taste of the 
guard-house that '11 cure you of a habit of wandering from 
the truth." 

Then the captain gave orders that the youths should be 
carefully looked after and not have a chance of escaping, 
but at the same time they should be permitted to ride 
their own horses and have every privilege consistent 
with being carefully guarded. " They are probably 
all right, but they may be all wrong, and so we won't 
take any chances on them," the captain remarked to his 


lieutenant, as the youths disappeared in charge of their 

Brigiit and early the next morning the whole party was 
on the road toward Fort Scott, wiiere they arrived safely, 
but not without a slight brush with a small band of guer- 
rillas whom they encountered about a mile from their 
camping place. A few shots were exchanged, but at such 
long range that it is doubtful if anybody was hurt. Cer- 
tainly nobody was injured on the union side, though 
several bullets whistled very near. 

The party which captured our young friends had been 
sent from Fort Scott for the double purpose of looking- 
for messengers from General Curtis, and also to ascertain 
the whereabouts of any guerrilla bands that might be 
infesting the country. Having no proof of their character, 
the captain was naturally disinclined to believe their 
second story. He had supposed they were lying when they 
were first brought before him, and, therefore, was not in- 
clined to accept without a great deal of reserve the sub- 
sequent explanation. 

But all doubt was cleared up when the scouting party 
reached Fort Scott and handed its captives over to the 
commandant of the post. Colonel Hinton, the officer who 
then held that position, questioned the youths briefiy and 
learned when and how they were sent away. When 
satisfied on this point he asked for their dispatches. 

" We have n't any," Harry answered. Then he told the 
circumstances attending their departure. 

" But I 'm sure you have brought them, as General Cur- 
tis was to send a messenger about this time, and that was 
one of the objects for which I sent out the scouting 

Harry repeated his assurance that they had brought no 
dispatches ; then the colonel laughed and called his adju- 
tant, and the latter, at the colonel's suggestion, proceeded 


to rip off some of the patches on the butternut garments 
of the boys. The first and second of the patclies revealed 
nothing, but the tliird yielded a letter written on thin 
paper, and inclosed in oiled silk. Another patch brought 
forth another letter, and by the time the garments had 
been restored to their original unpatched condition, no 
less than tliree dispatches had been brought to light. 

llari-y and Jack stood speechless with astonishment. 
Here they had been carrying dispatches without knowing 
it ; the mystery of their having nothing further to do than 
report to the commander of the post was explained. 

" This is nothing new," said the colonel, as he silently 
regarded the youths. " It isn't the first time a man has 
served as messenger without being aware of it ; but your 
case is n't equal to that of a man in Kentucky that I heard 
of not long ago. He was a rebel spy, who passed fre- 
quently inside our lines. One of our spies who was with 
the rebel army used to conceal dispatches in tlie lining of 
this man's overcoat whenever he saw indications that he 
was about to go away, and when he got into our lines an 
officer who knew his real character used to get possession 
of the papers, the efficient carrier being entirely ignorant 
of the fact that he was thus being used. He was allowed 
to come and go, as his services to the Union were much 
greater than to the Confederacy, though he was no friend 
of ours." 

The colonel then gave orders that the boys should be 
well fed and cared for, and told them they could rest a 
day before setting out on their return. " And Mdien you 
go back," said the colonel, " you will not run as much risk 
as you have just been through." 

They had their day's rest as proposed, and on the 
second morning after their arrival at Fort Scott they 
started on the return journey. Colonel Hinton assigned 
a company of cavalry to accompany them, and kept good 


his promise tliat tliey should not run tlie same risk as iu 
tlieir trip upward from the army. 

Harry and Jack were not forgetful of the family who 
fed and cared for them on the occasion when the latter 
" played crazy." A well- wrapped package containing a 
pound of tea, and another of coffee, was fastened behind 
Harry's saddle, and while on the way Harry told the cap- 
tain of the escort all about their adventure. At Harry's 
suggestion the boys did not show themselves at the house, 
as he did not wish the people to know that they had been 
deceived as to their character. The escort divided a little 
while before reaching the house, and while one squad 
went there and delivered the parcel, which was supposed 
to have been sent by the boys, the other went by at a trot, 
the youths riding so that they were screened by some of 
the men. 

The boys were of service to the escort in showing the 
way to the haystack which they discovered in the forest, 
as already mentioned. When they reached it they had a 
skirmish with a party of guerrillas who had already found 
it, and were camping there comfortably with their saddles 
stripped from their horses, and evidently under the belief 
that nobody but themselves knew where it was. Our 
men had the guerrillas at a disadvantage, and the fight 
resulted badly for tlie rebels ; two of them were killed and 
three wounded, while on our side only one man was hurt, 
and he but slightly. Ten horses were captured and taken 
away in triumph ; some of the guerrillas escaped with 
their steeds, while the rest fled on foot. A sharp watch 
was kept through the night lest they should return and 
renew the fight, but they did not put in an appearance. 

Just as they were starting tlie next morning Harry 
called attention to a cloud of dust in the road they in- 
tended following, and it was immediately surmised that an 
enemy was in the neighborhood. Very quickly the order 


to mount was given and the column moved in the direc- 
tion of the suspicious dust. Hardly had they reached the 
road before a crowd of horsemen was seen approaching, 
and then both sides made ready for a fight. 

There was a good deal of maneuveiing for the advantage, 
and both parties advanced witli great caution. A few 
shots were exchanged at long distances, where they could 
not possibly do any harm, but simply on the Chinese 
principle of letting the other side know that warm work 
could be expected. As the columns drew closer together 
the strangers were found to be dressed in blue, and as 
they made a similar discovery concerning our own j)arty 
the shooting ceased. A flag of truce was then sent for- 
ward, accompanied by Harry, to meet a similar flag from 
the other side. The flags inet half-way between the lines, 
and it was quickly ascertained that the supposed enemy 
was a scouting party sent out by General Curtis. Harry 
recognized the bearers of the flag, and there was a vigor- 
ous hand-shaking followed by a signal for both sides to 
put off the idea of fighting for the present unless they 
could find somebody else to fight with. 

On their arrival in camp Harry and Jack reported im- 
mediately to General Vandever, and then to General Cur- 
tis, to whom they delivered the dispatches they had 
brought from Fort Scott. The general questioned them 
closely in regard to their experiences, and laughed heartily 
when he heard of Jack's exploit in playing crazy. He 
thought it an admirable ruse, but said it could not be tried 
on very often, as it was sure to leak out. Then he praised 
the boys for the admirable manner in which they had 
pei-formed their difficult task, and said he might have 
occasion to call on them again. 

" I 'm not at all sure," said Harry, as soon as the boys 
were by themselves once more, " I 'm not sure that I 'm 
in a hurry to go on another scouting expedition ; are you ? " 


" As to that," answered Jack, " I 'd like a little rest and 
a chance to think it over. But after I 've rested I shall 
be ready to try it on once more, but not through the same 

" I don't suppose General Curtis would send us that way 
again," was the reply, " as he would know that it would 
be doubly dangerous for us, since we 've been seen with 
the cavalry and would be known to be on the union side. 
We could n't make anybody believe our story about hunt- 
ing for stolen horses from Forsyth way." 

On the day of their return to camp orders were is- 
sued for the army to be ready to move on the following 
morning. The boys wondered if the advance upon Little 
Rock was about to commence, and also whether the 
dispatches they brought had anything to do with the 
orders to march. 

But the development of events did not indicate that 
they Avere going in the direction of the Arkansas capital, 
nor yet to Fort Scott or anywhere near it. The army 
moved to Forsyth, in Taney county, Missouri, on the 
banks of the White river, and nearly due east from Keits- 
ville, where the camj) had been. For some part of tlie 
way the principal road, follows the bank of the river and 
gives pretty glimpses of the wooded valley and the mean- 
dering stream. Like most of the southwestern rivers, the 
White has a very tortuous course, and consequently the 
road rather touched upon than followed the stream ; to 
have done the latter would make it needlessly long. 

There was no enemy of consequence along the line of 
march, and therefore no opposition was expected or of- 
fered. Here and there half-a-dozen horsemen were seen, 
but they were not considered worthy of attention. For- 
syth was occupied until the army received a supply of 
stores and ammunition, which was sent from Springfield 
by a somewhat difficult road through the Ozark mountains. 


Our young friends went with dispatches to the post 
commander at Springfield, but as the road was well 
guaixled and no rebels or guerrillas were supposed to be 
in the neighborliood, they did not consider the journey of 
any serious moment, and did not disguise themselves. 
The distance is about fifty miles, and they took a part of 
two days for the ride, spending the night at Ozark, which 
is about half-way between the opposite ends of the route. 
There was so much up and down hill to the road that 
they did not find it an easy one to travel in a hurry, and 
besides, they were carrying out the orders of the general 
in spending the night at Ozark, where there was tempo- 
rarily a garrison of fifteen or twenty men, 

" It is a very pretty mountain country," said Harry 
afterwards, when speaking of the journey, "and I wished 
I could make sketches of some of the landscapes along 
the road. In some places you look down a long distance 
in the valleys, and in others you are completely shut 
in and wonder how you will ever get out of there. An 
interesting feature of the country is the large springs that 
abound all through it ; they are like the great springs we 
saw at Cross Hollows in Arkansas, and doubtless have the 
same sort of origin. There is one spring near the village 
of Ozark which forms the head of a good-sized brook, just 
as does the spring at the head of Sugar Creek." 

At Springfield they found very little change in the state 
of affairs since they passed through the town on their 
way to Sugar Creek and Pea Ridge. The garrison had 
thrown up earthworks to protect themselves in case of 
an attack by the rebels, as it was thought possible that a 
column of cavalry, or possibly some marauding expedi- 
tions like those of Quantrell and Todd, might take a no- 
tion to pay a brief visit to the place, and the commandant 
did n't propose to be caught napping. The supplies for 
General Curtis were being pushed forward as fast as pos- 

THE LOST AR3fr. 245 

sible, but the bad condition of tlie roads and the scarcity 
of draft animals greatly hindered the work. jMules and 
horses were in great demand, and considering the great 
numbers of these animals that had been completely worn 
out and used up in the arduous service of transportation 
in the southwest, the great wonder is that supplies could 
be sent forward at all. 

They remained two days in Springfield and then started 
on their return to Forsyth. Not dreaming of any danger, 
they did not deem it worth their Avhile to so time the 
journey as to spend the night under the protection of the 
guard at Ozark ; instead of doing so, they passed through 
that town and lodged in a house several miles beyond, 
where they had an exciting adventure, as the sequel will 





The house where they asked for entertainment for the 
night was a two-story frame building, and belonged to a 
well-to-do farmer, who was the owner of ten or twelve 
negroes, and therefore one of the aristocracy of southwest 
Missouri. Being an owner of slaves, he was naturally in 
sympathy with secession, though he professed the most 
ardent unionism whenever he was visited by any party of 
soldiers wearing the federal blue. His family consisted 
of his wife and two daughters. His son had gone to join 
Price's army, and the father took great pains to explain 
that he had done so greatly against the parental will. 

The pronounced unionism of the man did not arouse 
any suspicions in the minds of Harry and Jack, who 
talked freely with him during and after the supper which 
was set before them. They retired early to bed, as they 
were wearied with their day's ride and intended to be off 
at an early hour in the morning, so as to reach Forsyth in 
good season. On their arrival, before dark, they accom- 
panied their horses to the barn and saw them fed and 
cared for by one of the negroes, whose good graces they 
secured 'oy slipping a quarter into his hand. They took 
a general survey of the barn and its surroundings, more 
from habit than from any thought that such knowledge 
might be useful to them before the next morning. 

The room where they slept was in the upper story of 

T^£I LOST AHMT. ^47 

the house, and there was a wmclow in it which opened 
upon a shed that served as a kitchen. Tliere was no 
means of fastening tlie door, and neitlier of the youths 
thought there was any special occasion for securing it, as 
they did not apprehend any disturbance from the family, 
and it was liardly lilcely that an outsider could nvdke an 
entrance without being stopped by some one below stairs. 

They threw off their clothing and retired to the double 
bed which stood in one corner of the apartment, and in 
less than five minutes both were sound asleep. Harry 
was on the front of the bed, while Jack lay next to the wall. 

About midnight Harry was waked by a hand upon his 
shoulder, and he was about to ask, " Who 's there ? " in an 
audible voice, when he heard a gentle " Hush ! " close to 
his ear. 

Instantly collecting his thoughts, he asked, in the same 
low whisper : 

"What's the matter?" 

" Hush ! don't speak, and don't move till I 've been gone 
five minutes. Keep still, and listen." 

" Certainly," said Harry ; " what 's the trouble? " 

" Father 's gone to get some men, avIio '11 carry you off. 
They are hiding in the woods a mile or so back from 
here, and he 's just gone for 'em. You 've time enough to 
git away, and you 'd better git." 

" We '11 git, you bet," answered Harry ; " but who are 

"Never mind," was the soft answer, "I 'm your 
friend, that 's all." 

" I want to know," said Harry, " as it may be in our 
power to do you or your people service some time. 
You may be sure we won't betray you." 

" Well, if you must know, I 'm Cordelia, the youngest 

daughter of Mr. , who is such a Yankee when any of 

you fellers comes 'round. He 's secesh though, and so are 


we all, for that matter ; but promise me you won't say so 
to anybody." 

Harry made the required promise, and then Miss Cor- 
delia explained that she overheard her father and mother 
talking about how they could have the young Yanks 
carried off into the woods and kept there. " I did n't so 
much mind your being just carried off," she added, " but 
I didn't know but they might kill you as they've killed 
some of the union men about here. I 'd taken a sort o' 
liking to both of you, and did n't want any harm to come 
to you. And that 's why I came and told you." 

"Now," she added, "I'll creep back to where sister 
Jane and I sleep, and you must n't stir for live 
minutes. Don't try to go downstairs and out of the 
house that way, but get out on the shed, and at the 
further end of it you '11 find a big chimney that's built up 
in steps like, so that you can get along it down onto the 
ground. Then find your horses and be off jest as quick as 
you can. There 's a little lane from the back of the barn 
that goes downhill, and if you keep along that lane and 
then turn to the right where it forks, you '11 come out on 
the main road about a quarter of a mile from the house. 
Now, good-bye ! " 

" Good-bye ! " whispered Harry, " and be sure we won't 
forget your kindness." And as he said so he pressed to 
his lips the hand that had been resting on his shoulder, 
and which he took hold of just as it was being 

Then he roused Jack, who would have spoken aloud, 
had not Harry pressed a hand on his mouth and whispered, 
not as softly as the recent whispering had been, that he 'd 
better shut up. As soon as Jack was fairly awake the 
situation was explained, and the five minutes in which 
they had been enjoined to lie still were fully taken up in 
laying plans for getting away. 


" In the first place," said Harrj^, " we ought to fasten 
the door of the room, so as to dehiy our would-be captors 
as long as possible." 

" That 's so," said Jack ; " but how '11 we fasten it ? " 

" I think the chair will do it," was the reply ; " at any 
rate I '11 try it. "We might move the bed against the door, 
but in doing it we would be very likely to make a 

They dressed themselves quickly, but without noise, 
occasionally glancing out of the window to the starlit but 
moonless sky. "When they had completed their toilets, all 
but putting on their shoes, Harry leaned the chair against 
the door and found it made an excellent wedge beneath 
the latch, and would greatly hinder an attempt to force 
an entrance. 

" That 's a splendid way to fasten a door," whispered 
Harry. " I got the idea from Mr. Johnson, a commercial 
traveler, who used to come to father's house. He said 
that if you take a chair or a strong cane, — anything in 
fact that will go under the latch and rest on the floor at a 
sharp angle, — it will defy any effort to open the door short 
of bursting it in." 

" All right," answered Jack ; let 's have short talks and 
quick business." 

Then they opened, and very softly opened, the window, 
and with their shoes in their hands stepped out on the 
roof of the shed. Creeping along the roof they reached 
the chimney without making a sound, and found the place 
that was " built up in steps like " and facilitated their 
descent to the ground. 

There they sat down and put their shoes on, and then 
they moved in the direction of the barn. But just before 
reaching it they heard voices that made them pause. 
After listening a moment they sought shelter behind a 
broken cart that offered a friendly place of concealment. 


A group of five men on horseback came up and drew 
rein within a few feet of where the youths were lying. 
Tliey talked in low tones, but loud enough to be distinctly 
heard, and both Harry and Jack perceived that one of 
the voices belonged to their host. 

" We 'd better get their horses out first and saddle 'em," 

said Mr. (we '11 call him Jones, but that was n't his 

name or anything like it), " and then you won't have to do 
it afterwards. I can help you now, but could n't when the 
young Yanks are looking on." 

" All right, squire," was the answer, and with that all 
slid down from their horses. The bridles were placed in 
the hands of one who appeared to be the youngest, as he 
certainly was the smallest, of the party, and the others 
proceeded to bring out and saddle the horses of Harry 
and Jack. 

When this had been done Mr, Jones suggested that all 
the horses should be tied to the fence close to the barn, so 
that Billy, the man who had been holding the five steeds, 
could be free to help them in case there was occasion for 
anything. This was agreed to, and Billy was left to 
watch outside while the rest of the party entered the 
house. Mr. Jones was to retire to bed and thus give 
the capture the aspect of something that had been 
done against his will. In case of any outside alarm, 
Billy was to strike against the barn-door three times ; it 
had been proposed to fire a shot from his rifle, but on care- 
ful consideration it was thought the other signal would 
answer just as well and be less suspicious to ears for 
which it was not intended. 

The four disappeared in the direction of the house, and 
from their place of concealment Harry and Jack surveyed 
the scene and formed their plans. Having nothing else 
to do, the five horses of the guerrillas w^ere inclined to 
quarrel with the two strange ones, and the disturbance 


they made gave onr friends an opportunity to whisper 
easily to each other, without danger of being overheard by 

" We must watch our chance," said Harry, " and jump 
on his shoulders so as to bear him to the ground before 
he can call out for help." 

" That won't do," said Jack, " as he might give a yell as 
he goes down. Better drop him with a club, and then 
he '11 be senseless the moment it hits him and will stay 
so long enough for us to get away, and there '11 be no 
danger of his hollering." 

Harry did not altogether like the idea of the club, but 
he realized that it M^as a case of self-preservation, and the 
treatment was no worse than what Mr. Billy would be 
ready to apply to them without the least compunction. 
So he assented to Jack's proposal, and the two armed 
themselves with clubs, which were conveniently furnished 
by the spokes of a crushed wheel of the cart. 

" I reckon them strange horse shad better be a little 
further off," said Billy to himself, " and then there won't 
be so much furse." 

Suiting the action to his thought, he proceeded to sepa- 
rate the old from the new, and while he was occupied with 
this prudential duty Harry and Jack crept up behind him 
and, at an opportune moment, felled him with a blow from 
one of the cart-spokes. He went down without a sound ; 
in less than a minute a handkerchief had been tied across 
his mouth, in which a corncob was inserted as a gag, his 
hands were securely fastened behind him, and his feet 
were tied together. He was not likely to give an alarm, 
no matter how soon he revived. 

Harry and Jack then took possession of the seven 
horses, mounting their own and leading the other five. 
Harry took charge of three, and left the other two to 
Jack. They went at a walk down the lane which the 


girl had indicated, and on reaching tlie high-road quick- 
ened their pace as much as tlie led horses would 

" It was very kind of them to saddle our horses for 
us," said Jack, " and to save us any trouble about it." 

" Yes," replied Harry, " and I 'd give one of their 
saddles to hear their remarks when they find we 're not 
in the house, and come outside and see tlie way that 
Billy is waiting for them." 

" I 'm afraid their remarks will not be of a Sunday- 
school character," was Jack's answer, " nor very respect- 
ful to us." 





The boys pushed on as fast as they could, but it was not 
possible to make so good time with so many horses to lead 
as though they had been unencumbered. But they had a 
good start at any rate, and besides, they had brought away 
the horses of their would-be captors, and thus diminished 
the chances of pursuit. 

" Those fellows from the woods have n't any horses to 
follow us with, that 's certain," said Harry ; " but there 's 
no telling how many our late host may have in his 
barn, or close by in the brush." 

" That 's so," answered Jack ; " but I don't believe he 
has many. There was only one in the barn when we 
put up our horses, and we 've got him along with us. But 
quite likely he has some out in the brush, and they may 
scare up two or three saddles and come after us. What 
shall we do if they turn up ? " 

" Let their horses go, and cut for Forsyth as fast as we 
can," said Harry ; " that 's the only thing I can suggest, or 
at any rate the safest thing. They '11 stop to get their 
horses, and we '11 easily outrun them." 

Jack agreed to the suggestion, and it was resolved 
to put it into practice in case of necessity. As time went 
on it was evident that Mr. Jones did n't have any extra 
horses handy, as there were no indications of pursuit, and 
as daylight approached the boys began to feel safe. Every 


hour brought them nearer the camp of the army, and they 
knew that once within the hues they could tell their story 
in perfect security. 

Suddenly tliey heard the sound of horses' feet behind 
them, and as they looked back they saw three or four 
men riding rapidly in their direction. The glance showed 
that the men were in the costume of the country, and 
quite likely they were the pursuers whom the boys 

" We 're in for it now," exclaimed Harry. " Let go 
your horses and I '11 let go mine." 

" Not much," answered Jack ; " just look ahead." 

Harry looked and saw approaching from the other 
direction a squad of ten or twelve cavalry in the Union 

Harry wanted to shout, " Hurrah ! " but just then he 
was too much occupied to do it. He took in the situa- 
tion in an instant ; they were about equally distant from 
their pursuers and the cavalry, and the advantage in their 
favor was that they could get to the shelter of their friends 
before they could possibly be overtaken by the bush- 
whackers. The latter also saw the predicament they 
were in and innnediately checked their speed. The 
sergeant of the cavalry saw that there was something 
wrong, and he and his men came forward at a gallop. 

" Go for those fellows and I '11 explain afterwards," 
said Harry, as the sergeant drew rein near him. The ser- 
geant recognized the youths and did not Avait for further 
words. Away went the cavalry in chase, and in a little 
while returned with two captured horses and one man, the 
rest having got away. 

The cavalry squad accompanied the boys to the picket 
line, which was only half a mile further along the road. 
The picket-guard was just then being relieved, and the 
prisoner was turned over to it and sent to camp along 


with the captured horses. The squad then proceeded on 
the foraging expedition for whicli it liad started when it 
so opportunely met our young friends and saved them 
from trouble. The boys went triumphantly to General 
Vandever with their prizes, and told the story of their ad- 
venture to a group of interested listeners. They were the 
heroes of the day, and received a liberal amount of praise 
for the shrewd manner in which they not only got out of 
their predicament, but turned it to their advantage. Of 
course they carefully concealed the part which the girl 
played in warning them, but pretended that they over- 
heard the conversation between Mr. Jones and his wife 
after they had retired and were supposed to be in bed. 

The prisoner stoutly denied any complicity in the at- 
tempted capture of the youths, and professed the most 
thorough ignorance of them or any desire to pursue and re- 
take the runaways. -He explained that he and his friends 
had come from Douglas county in search of some stray 
cattle, and were just on the point of turning back when 
they saw the boys and a moment afterward the cavalry. 

There was nothing to disprove his story, and no evi- 
dence against him except the circumstantial evidence that 
he and his friends were riding very rapidly toward the 
youths before they saw the cavalry, and tried hard to get 
away immediately afterwards. If their mission was an 
innocent one, there was no reason for their fast riding ; 
and furthermore they had no need to be as alarmed as 
they were on seeing the soldiers. But of course this 
was only circumstantial, and he might have been released 
but for a suggestion from Harry, on which action was im- 
mediately taken. 

The five horses which Harry and Jack had secured at 
the time of their hasty flight from Mr. Jones's house were 
turned loose in the yard ; they had not been fed since their 
night- journey, and might fairly be supposed to be hungry. 


Soon after they had thus been put by themselves the 
officer wlio had charge of the prisoner suggested that 
they would go and see what the general had to say on the 
subject of liberating the captive. As if by accident they 
crossed the yard where the horses where inclosed, the pris- 
oner not suspecting the trick and being too intent on his 
release to observe the presence of the captured animals, 
especially as they were mingled with some ten or twelve 

As they entered the yard one of the horses came 
familiarly up to the prisoner, rubbed his nose against the 
man's shoulder, and in other ways gave most positive 
testimony that he had found his master. The identifica- 
tion of the man by the horse was complete. As the 
oflBcer and his charge walked around the yard and then 
out of it, the horse followed like a dog ; and though the 
man protested that he had never before set eyes on the 
animal, the evidence was altogether too strong against 
him to be doubted. 

" That 's enough," said the officer, when the horse had 
followed the man for five or six minutes. " We'll hold on 
to you for a while and see what '11 turn up. Guess we'll 
send you to St. Louis and have you tried for bush- 

At this the fellow broke down and confessed to his con- 
nection with the plan for abducting the boys. Then he 
was plied with questions, and before his inquisitors were 
through with him they had elicited a good deal of valuable 
information. On the strength of this information an 
expedition was immediately sent out, which succeeded 
in capturing a small camp and securing a goodly supply 
of provisions that had been accumulated for the pur- 
pose of sending to Price's army as soon as the way 
was open. Altogether tlie performance of Harry and 
Jack on that memorable night "panned out" very 


ra;i< 251. 


well, to use the expression of a gold-miner belonging 
to one of the companies of the Ninth Iowa. 

A few days after the occurrences above narrated the 
army moved to Batesville, Arkansas, farther down the 
White river, and at a point where General Curtis expect- 
ed to be met by gun-boats convoying steamers with sup- 
plies and ammunition for his army. No enemy opposed 
them, and there were no incidents of consequence on the 
march. There was a small force of rebel cavalry in 
the town, but it fled before the advance of the army 
after firing a few shots, which did no harm to any one. 

Harry and Jack now believed that the long-talked-of 
advance on Little Rock had begun. Batesville is about 
one hundred miles from that city, and if unopposed in its 
march, the army could easily reach it in a week or ten 
days. The rumor went through the army that Little 
Rock was the objective point of the campaign, and bets 
were freely offered that the stars and stripes would float 
over the capital of Arkansas long before the fourth of 

But there were serious difficulties in the way of the 
advance in the desired direction. In the first place, the 
river was unusually low for that season of the year, as 
it had only four feet of water in the channel, while the 
gun-boats and most of the transports needed not less than 
five or six feet. One of the gun-boats that tried to ascend 
the river was blown up by a rebel battery at St. Charles, 
and the transports could not move without the aid of their 
armed brothers. Tlie wagon road to Eolla was a long one 
and open to interruptions by raiding bands of rebels. 
One entire train was captured and destroyed by them 
within thirty miles of Rolla, and other trains were more 
or less interfered with. The army was short of food and 
ammunition, and in such a condition it could not take the 
often sive. 


To add to General Curtis's perplexities a part of his 
army (ten regiments) were ordered to join the forces of 
General IIalleck,tlien besieging Corinth, ]Mississippi, and 
to move with all possible haste. They were ordered in the 
direction of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, two hundred and 
forty miles away. They performed the march in ten days, 
an average of twenty-four miles a day, which may be 
considered oue of the best instances of marching during 
the war. Many of the men wore out their shoes on the 
journey, and were barefooted for the last fifty or sixty 
miles. The withdrawal of this force, added to the scar- 
city of provisions and ammunition, made the army too 
weak to venture upon Little Rock, and General Curtis 
began to turn his eyes in the direction of the Mississippi 

The army remained seven weeks at Batesville, and 
during that period it sent out many foraging expeditions, 
in the hope of collecting provisions enough to subsist it 
without drawing upon its scanty supply of rations which it 
had received from Rolla. But in spite of all efforts the 
supply could not be maintained, and many a time the 
soldiers had to live two days upon food that would have 
been no more than enough for one. The gun-boats and 
the transports did not come, and instead of rising the 
river continued to fall. 

Harry and Jack accompanied many of the foraging 
expeditions, and, on several occasions, they were of much 
practical service. Harry was able to find concealed stores 
of pork and bacon where others declared there was 
nothing, and one day Jack brought from under a heap of 
straw suflBcient bacon to feed a whole regiment for nearly 
a week. Harry had a keen eye for chickens, and when- 
ever he went on a tour it was a noticeable circumstance 
that General Vandever usually had chicken that day for 
supper. Jack was as sharp after pigs as Harry was for 


chickens, and many were the young porkers that fell into 
his hands. 

One day they ran into a scouting party of rebels, and 
the foraging party had a sharp skirmish with their 
adversaries over the possession of a haystack. The 
rebels were discomfited and the unionists secured the cov- 
eted prize, but not until three of their number had been 
wounded, one of them severely. The rebels suffered to 
the extent of having two men killed, two or three wound- 
ed and four captured. The prisoners were taken back to 
camp under guard of two soldiers, assisted by our young 
friends, who kept a sharp watch to prevent the escape of 
the captives. During the march Harry fell into conver- 
sation with one of them, and very soon learned some- 
thing that caused him to open his eyes with astonish- 





But though he opened his eyes with astonishment, he 
did not open his lips to say why he did so. To have done 
so would liave been imprudent to the last degree. 

The question to the prisoner had revealed the fact that 
the captive whom Harry was so closely guarding was the 
son of Mr. Jones, the treacherous host from whom the 
two youths had had such a narrow escape, and the brother 
of the girl who had given them tlie hint which led to 
their hasty departure. He had joined Price's army as 
originally intended, and was serving with a cavalry regi- 
ment that had been assigned to the duty of harassing the 
union forces and preventing their obtaining the supplies 
they desired. His company was the one with which the 
union cavalry had disputed the possession of the haystack, 
as described in the last chapter. 

" Now," thought Harry, " I 've got a chance to pay olf 
the girl for her kindness to us. I '11 get her brother free 
and send him home to her. He '11 never know how it 
came about, but I 'm sure she '11 understand." 

Further questioning showed that another of the pris- 
oners was a near neighbor of young Jones, and that he 
was very much attached to Miss Cordelia ; in fact, the 
twain were lovers, and this circumstance determined 
Harry on his course of action, and on the way to Bates- 
ville he studied how best to accomplish his object. 

THE LOST AR3iT. 261 

He found that the young fellows were heartily tired of 
the war, and wanted to go home; this Avas particularly 
the case with the young lover, whose interest was 
greatly roused when he found that Harry had seen 
the girl he left behind him. Harry gave no particulars of 
his acquaintance with her, other than that he had stopped 
at the house of Mr. Jones on his way from Springfield to 
Forsyth, and remembered seeing a young girl such as 
the prisoner described, or rather such as her brother 
told about. He said he could not remember the name, but 
thought it was Corinne, or Cor — something or other. 

The prisoners were fearful that something terrible 
would happen to them, as they had heard the usual wild 
stories about the barbarity of the Yankees. Harry en- 
couraged their belief as far as he thought judicious, in 
order to make them all the more grateful for any service 
he might render them. He promised to do his best to save 
them from being hanged or shot, and suggested that a 
great deal would depend on their conduct. 

" If you try to escape," said he, " you will be shot down 
at once ; but" if you obey orders and do exactly what is 
told you without question, you '11 find it to your advan- 

They promised everything he asked of them, and 
on reaching camp they went denmrely to the quarters 
assigned them, and made not the least trouble. As soon 
as he was relieved of his charges Harry went straight to 
General Vandever and asked to see him privately, a 
request which the general readily granted. 

Under the seal of confidence Harry then told the whole 
story of how he and Jack had been saved from capture by 
the warning given by Cordelia, and how two of the pris- 
oners then in camp were the brother and lover of the 
warm-hearted girl. He wanted them set free as a 
return for the service she had rendered the two youths, 


but at the same time he specially desired that neither 
the prisoners nor any one else should know or suspect the 
real reason of his request. 

" We can easily arrange that," answered the general. 
" I '11 see General Curtis and ask him to turn the pris- 
oners over to me, to do with as I think best : I 've no 
doubt he '11 do it, and if he does there won't be any 
trouble about the other details." 

An hour later the general sent for Harry, who respond- 
ed with alacrity to the call. 

" It 's all right," said the general, as soon as Harry came 
into his presence. " The five horses that you and Jack 
captured that night are worth more to us than the pris- 
oners; the men might not like to know they 've been 
traded for horses, but that 's the way I look at it. Go 
and see if you can get the prisoners to take an oath not to 
serve in the rebel armies again during the war, and 
you may tell them they '11 be released if they '11 do it." 

Harry went at once to the guard-house, where the 
prisoners were confined, and it did not take long for 
them to make the desired promise. He explained that he 
had urged their case before the general, and had persuaded 
the latter to grant his request on condition that they 
went home at once and stayed there, and furthermore, 
that they signed the required oath and gave no further 
aid in any way to the war. 

This being arranged the prisoners were taken before 
General Vandever, who gave them a sevei-e lecture, 
pretended he was opposed to letting them loose, but 
had only done so at the urgent request of Harry, who be- 
lieved them to be honest, but misguided, and who felt 
sure they would live up to their promise. There was much 
more talk to the same effect, all tending to show that they 
owed their liberation to Harry and Jack ; and finally the 
papers were signed, the oath was taken, and the x^risoners 


were escorted to the lines and allowed to go on their way 
toward Forsyth and home. 

It was afterward ascertained that the arrival of the 
pair at the Jones' mansion was the cause of great astonish- 
ment to the family, and especially to the senior Jones, 
who had been in mortal terror ever since that night, for 
fear that the youths would cause his house to be burned 
over his head in revenge for his treachery. Cordelia 
blushed down to the roots of her hair, but her blushes 
were attributed to her joy at seeing her lover and brother 
safe at home from the wars. No one had the slightest sus- 
picion that she had aught to do with the escape of the 
youths and the capture of the horses. As the returned 
soldiers babbled on about the kindness of Harry, and 
how he had brought about their liberation, the tears 
came into her eyes, and it was with great difficulty that 
she preserved her composure. 

As before stated, the army in camp at Bates ville, Aveak- 
ened by the withdrawal of a portion of its numbers, 
which were sent to aid in the siege of Corinth, and, being 
short of provisions and ammunition, was in no condition 
to advance upon Little Rock. Its onl}^ Hue of march was 
back to liolla, or through the country that lay between it 
and the JMississippi river. The movement upon Rolla 
would be a retrograde one, while that toward the Missis- 
sippi would be an advance; consequently the latter was 
selected without hesitation. 

From the sixth of May until the twenty-fourth of June 
the army lay at Batesville, making preparations for its 
future movements. Word came that gun-boats and 
transports were ascending the White river, and would 
probably come to Jacksonport, which is twenty-five miles 
below Batesville and at the junction of the White with 
the Black river. For ten days previous to the departure 
from Batesville, Captain Winslow, the quartermaster-in- 


chief of General Curtis's army, bought corn and other 
provisions, and saved the army rations so that he liad 
enough on hand for a twenty days' supply, which was 
considered sufficient to carry them through to Helena, on 
the bank of the Mississippi, in case the gun-boats and 
transports should fail to reach Jacksonport. As subse- 
quent events developed, this precaution was a wise one. 

For the first time in its history this part of Arkansas 
was honored witli a navy. General Curtis built five large 
flat-boats, with strong decks, partly for the transportation 
of supplies and partly for use as pontoons in case a river 
was to be crossed. Cotton bales were ranged around their 
sides and firmly fastened, as a protection against mus- 
ketry in case the rebels should attempt to hinder tlieir prog- 
ress, and it was thought they would even be able to stop 
cannon-shot of the smaller calibers. There were no naval 
officers and sailors with the army, and so it was necessary 
to improvise them. There was a liberal number of 
volunteers for the new service, as it jjromised to be excit- 
ing and was certainly novel. 

Captain Wadsworth, of the Thirteenth Illinois, was put 
in command of the fleet, and his company formed the 
crew. Harry and Jack were accepted as volunteers to 
aid in navigating the boats, each of which was provided 
with sweeps, or long oars, that were necessary to keep it 
in the channel. Some of the old soldiers were accustomed 
to flat-boat navigation on the Mississippi, and felt confi- 
dent they could avoid getting ashore ; but, of course, it 
was unknown what the rebels might do to hinder their 

Harry was half inclined to back out when he found that 
the road from Batesville to Jacksonport did not follow 
the bank of the river, but wound among the hills at a con- 
siderable distance from it. In case of an attack upon the 
naval forces of General Curtis the army would not be 


near enough to furnish any eflficient aid, except in a few 
places. But, having agreed to go, he said nothing; nei- 
ther did Jack. 

The advance of the army moved out of Batesville on 
the morning of the twenty-fourth of June. Then came 
each of the three divisions in its order, and hy noon the 
town was deserted. The navy pushed off from the shore 
and floated slowly down the stream, the captain, Avho had 
been promoted by his associates to the rank of admiral, 
ordering his men to make no exertions at the oars other 
than might be necessary to keep their craft in the cur- 
rent. Some of the natives of the country offered to assist 
as pilots, and one of them who claimed to know all about 
the river was taken aboard the "Cordelia," the boat where 
Harry and. Jack were serving, and to which they had 
given the name. He was so enormously fat that Jack 
suggested he should be called Pauncheous Pilot, but he 
was careful to keep the suggestion from the ears of the 
subject of it. 

The youths had intrusted their horses to the care of two 
of their comrades, as it was not practicable to take them 
on board the "Cordelia," which had only sufficient room 
for her crew and was encumbered with boxes and other 
freight. Convenient loopholes had been made between 
the bales of cotton, so that the occupants of the boats 
could defend themselves from musketry fire without seri- 
ous risk. The oars or sweeps were operated in openings 
between the bales somewhat Mdder than the loopholes, 
and movable screens of thick plank were arranged so that 
the oarsmen would be fairly well protected. 




There was a shot from the bank. The soldiers sprang 
to their arras and places, and everybody was ready for 
business in a moment. The shot had been fired from a 
clump of trees on the left bank of the river, and as the 
trees were encumbered witli thick underbrush it was im- 
possible to see any one who might be lurking there. 

The river at this point was not more than fifty yards in 
width, so that any assailants would have the boats in 
very short range. But not another shot was heard, and 
as the boats one after another drifted past the point, their 
crews reached the conclusion that the bushwhackers had 
concluded to seek safety in flight, or, what amounted to 
the same thing, by making no further demonstration. 

A mile or so farther down two of the boats went 
aground on a bar, and it required a great deal of effort to 
get them off. Had tliey been attacked at this point they 
would have been at a disadvantage, as their assailants 
could have chosen their own distance, and had the pro- 
tection of tlie trees and brushwood along the banks. 
Harry and Jack began to wish tliey had stuck to the road 
rather than essayed naval service in Arkansas waters, 
where there was no chance of running away in case the 
enemy proved too strong for them. If they could not re- 
sist successfully they had no alternative but to surrender ; 
and, as Harry expressed it, they didn't like to "go 
around surrendering." 


An hour or more was lost at the point where the boats 
took the ground, and when night came on little more than 
half the distance to Jacksonport had been accomplished. 
The boats were tied up to the northern bank, which was 
considered safer than the southern one, at a point not 
moi-e than a mile from the road taken by the army. The 
chance of bushwackers venturing so near was not great, 
but a careful watch was kept to avoid surprise. 

Early next morning the boats were under way again, 
and before nightfall they had arrived safely at Jackson- 
port, where the advance of the army had encamped and 
was waiting for the rest of the column and also for the 

The union of the Black river with the White did not 
give sufficient water for the steamboats with supplies to 
ascend from below, and General Curtis learned that they 
could not be expected to come further up than Clarendon, 
seventy-five miles below Jacksonport. The only thing to 
do was to follow the road and river to Clarendon, and 
after a halt of five days the march was continued. 
Before the army started on its new march it was rein- 
forced by the arrival of the Second Wisconsin Cavalry 
which had expected to join it at Batesville. It had 
marched from Springfield without encountering an enemy 
at any point, though reports were current of large forces 
which would obstruct any movements through the 

Harry and Jack concluded to adhere to the fortunes of 
the navy in its further descent of the river, and when the 
boats dropped off to float away with the current they 
retained their places on the " Cordelia." The boats were 
ordered to proceed to Grand Glaise, twelve miles below 
Jacksonport, and there wait further orders. The army 
at the same time took up its line of march through the 
hills and swampy ground east of the river, and was not 


expected to join the boats until reacliing Augusta, thirty- 
five miles from Jacksonport. A regiment of cavah-y was 
ordered to keep in the neighborhood of the boats to be 
ready to aid them in case of necessity, wliicli was not 
long in coming. 

The Sixth Missouri Cavalry met the boats at Grand 
Glaise and ordered them to proceed to Augusta, and on 
they floated with the sluggish current, winding among the 
hills and forests that skirt the stream. Colonel Wood, 
who commanded the cavalry regiment, said good-bye 
to Captain Wadsworth and started for the main army, 
but before going far he heard brisk firing from the dense 
bushes lining the banks of the river just below Grand 

Hastily returning, he found the boats had been fired 
upon, and this time with more efliect than before. Cap- 
tain Wadsworth was severely wounded, and some of his 
men were slightly injured, but nobody was killed. 

Harry had a very narrow escape. When the firing 
began he was working one of the sweeps to bring the 
boat into the current, it having threatened to run upon a 
bar that projected from the northern shore. A bullet 
struck the huge oar on which he was pulling, and buried 
itself in the wood witliin an inch of his hand ; another 
passed through the top of his hat, and still another lodged 
in the cotton-bale which formed his shelter. The men 
on the boats promptly returned the fire, and by the time 
the cavalry reached the spot the assailants had mounted 
their horses and disappeared in the forest. IIow many 
there were of them no one could say, as the density of 
the forest was a complete shield for them. Natives in 
the vicinity reported nineteen killed, but this was doubt- 
less an exaggeration, as there were probably not above 
that number of them altogether. The bushes were not 
searched, either by the crews of the boats or the cavalry ; 


the latter were too much engrossed with the pursuit of 
the assailants to look for dead or wounded rebels, and 
the former did not deem it at all prudent to venture 

From this point the boats continued unmolested to 
Augusta, where it was decided not to try to take them 
further, as the road lay too far from the river to enable 
the army to come promptly to their support, and the 
country was said to be swarming with bushwhackers. 
All the provisions and other stores on the boats were 
taken ashore, and the boats and their bulwarks of cotton 
were set on fire and burned. The pilot who had accom- 
panied them thus far was paid off, but he decided that it 
might not be safe for him to return to Batesville, as his 
neighbors would accuse him of being altogether too 
friendly with the Yanks. He was sorry he had n't 
thought of it before, or he would n't have ventured down 
the river at all. 

It was the fourth of July Avhen the army reached 
Augusta, and a salute was fired in honor of the national 
independence. Our young friends found their horses all 
right and safe in the hands of the friends to whom they 
had been intrusted, and it is safe to say that both Harry 
and Jack rejoiced to be once more in the saddle. 

The old fever for scouting came upon them, and as the 
army was short of provisions they proceeded to hunt up 
something for feeding purposes. In the outskirts of the 
town they found a deposit of corn which had been care- 
fully concealed, and had already missed the sharp eyes 
of several squads of soldiers. There were nearly a hun- 
dred bushels of it, and following up their success they 
came upon another store of still larger amount. In a 
clump of forest, half a mile or so out of Augusta, they 
unearthed more than a wagon-load of bacon ; and alto- 
gether their labors were of material advantage to the 


little army, which had been disappointed by the failure 
of the transports and gun-boats to ascend the river. 

After their return from the discovery of the bacon, an 
old negro sidled up to Harry and said he could tell him 
something he would like to know. 

" Out with it," said Harry. " Don't keep me waiting. 
What is it you want to tell me ? " 

" Hole on a bit, young massa," said the negro. " Dere 
ain't no hurry 'bout it." 

"Well, I 'm in a hurry," said Harry, " and if you 've any 
talking to do, fire away." 

"Now just look a-heah," said the darky, "an' I'll tell 
yer. 'Fi tell somethin' yer want to know real bad, '11 yer 
give me my free-papers ? " 

" Certainly," was Harry's reply ; " if you give us any 
information that 's true and useful, you '11 get your free- 
papers fast enough." 

" Dat 's all I want ter know," continued the colored 
citizen ; " and dis is what I 'se gwine ter say." 

Harry listened patiently while the negro with much 
circumlocution told him of a barn full of provisions which 
had been accumulated, about two miles out of town, wait- 
ing for a favorable opportunity to ship them to the rebel 
army or to Memphis, which was then the depot from 
which a large part of the forces in the West were supplied. 
When convinced that the negro was telling the truth, 
Harry quickly reported the circumstance to General 
Vandever and a detail of cavalry was sent to take posses- 
sion. The negro did n't want to go along with the party, 
as it would involve him in suspicion which would be bad 
for him in future, but he gave such minute directions that 
there was no mistaking the place. 

They found the barn and also the provisions. The 
owner of the place at first denied all knowledge that any- 
thing was concealed there, and said they were welcome to 


anything they could find, but as soon as the discovery 
was made he assumed a different air altogether. He pro- 
fessed to be a union man, and explained that he had hid- 
den the stuff away to save it from going to the rebels. 
" I would rather,'' said he, " see it all burned up than 
into a rebel mouth ; that 's the kind of union man 
I am." 

The army remained two days at Augusta, and then 
took up its line of march for Clarendon, where the trans- 
ports were said to have arrived under convoy of a gun- 
boat. The country between Jacksonport and Clarendon 
is one of the finest regions of eastern Arkansas. A short 
distance from the river the- bluffs along the stream fall 
away into low hills and gentle undulations, which become 
less distinct until at the divide between the White and 
St. Francis rivers the land becomes an almost unbroken 
devel. A portion of this flat, alluvial country is in many 
places covered with canebrakes, and is often overflowed 
in the season of high water. At such times it becomes 
an almost impassable succession of swamps and quag- 
mires. But at the time our friends traversed it the ground 
was dry and hard and offered no obstacle to passage save 
occasionally at the crossings of creeks and rivulets. 

Interspersed among these lowlands is a succession of 
higher grounds, which are level and rarely broken by any- 
thing like an elevation. These lands are excellent for 
cotton, and down to the opening of the war they had 
annually sent a good supply of the textile plant to 
market. Cotton was raised there in 1861 to some 
extent, but in 1862, by orders of the Confederate gov- 
ernment, much of the cotton land through the South 
was planted with corn. The valley of the White river 
was no exception to the rule, and as our army moved 
along it passed many fields of corn, of which the ears, 
just then sufficiently advanced to be edible, formed a wel- 


come addition to the scanty stores possessed by the com- 
missarj^ department. As a single article of diet, green corn 
is not to be recommended, but when combined with other 
things it is, as everybody knows, a thing not to be de- 

Every few miles the advance of the army came upon 
trees felled across the roads, and considerable time was 
lost in removing these obstructions. From the negroes it 
was learned that there was a considerable force of rebels 
at the town of Des Arc, on the east bank of White river, 
about half-way between Augusta and Clarendon. They 
were said to be about six thousand strong, and to consist 
mainly of Arkansas and Texas mounted men, under com- 
mand of General Rust. As they were at a convenient 
striking distance from the road which General Curtis was 
following, it was thought quite likely they would make 
an attack at some point where they could fight to advan- 
tage, and the result proved the correctness of this belief. 

Several timber obstructions were encountered, most of 
them at the crossings of small creeks, but nothing was 
seen of an enemy until the point was reached where the 
road from Des Arc joins the main one, about ten miles to 
the east of that town. Here was the plantation of Colonel 
Hill, an officer of the Confederate army, and his residence 
and buildings were at the junction of the roads, in the 
southwest angle. North of the Des Arc road was a cot- 
ton-gin and press, and close by were two aboriginal 
mounds of unknown date. Colonel Hill was then blessed 
with his third wife, and the graves of her two predeces- 
sors were on the tops of these mounds, each one sur- 
rounded by a fence of white palings. " It must have 
been," said Harry, afterwards, " a cheerful thing for the 
third wife to contemplate the graves on these mounds and 
wonder when her turn would come and where she would 
be placed." Jack thought the colonel ought to put up 


another mound, so as to have everj^thing ready for the 
good lady's demise. 

The country around the junction of the road had been 
cleared for cotton-fields, but a little way beyond it the 
forests were dense and afforded good cover for an enemy. 
The mounted men, in advance, with whom were Harry 
and Jack, discovered signs of an enemy lurking in the 
timber south of Hill's house, and word was sent to bring 
up the infantry, Harry rode back to carry the order, and 
in a little while the infantry had come forward and was 
ready for business. The Thirty-third Illinois and the 
Eleventh Wisconsin were the ones selected for the work ; 
they deployed as skirmishers, and soon exchanged shots 
with the rebels, Avho were spread out in the timber. The 
two union regiments were not more than six hundred 
strong ; they were opposed by about fifteen hundred 
rebels, but the disparity of numbers was balanced by the 
superiority of the weapons of the former and their good 
drill and discipline. The rebel forces consisted of some 
very raw cavalry from Arkansas and Texas, and some 
newly-assembled conscripts who had not been in camp 
many days and knew practically nothing about military 

Soon as the firing began to have anything like vigor to 
it the conscripts fled in disorder, but the Texan troops 
stood their ground very well. As our right approached 
the enemy's left it was met by a volley which caused two 
of the companies to fall back a little ; the rebels under- 
took to follow up the advantage thus gained, and to do so 
emerged from the wood into the open ground. 

Here they were met by volleys of musketry and by 
rapid discharges of grape from two steel hoAvitzers which 
were brought forward by the First Indiana Cavalry. 
This welcome was too much for the rebels, who broke and 
fled from the field, leaving a good many of their men dead 


or wounded. Some of them retreated to Des Arc, and 
others along the road to the south. It was afterwards 
reported that three or four thousand men were marching 
from Des Arc to join tliem, but were unable to get across 
the Cache river, which is too deep to be forded and tlie 
single ferry-boat was not able to bring them over in time 
to be of use. When it was found that the other force had 
been defeated, they gave up the attempt to interrupt the 
advance of the union army and marched back to Des Arc. 





A FLAG of truce came during the evening, but was not 
admitted. The bearers were informed tliat the dead were 
being buried by our own men, and the wounded receiving 
every attention. The next morning another flag of truce 
came, and as tliere was no good reason for it, tlie general 
naturally suspected that it was a pretext to learn some- 
thing about our forces and position. 

He admitted the bearers of the flag, and kept them 
inside his lines all day, so that anything they might learn 
by the use of their eyes would not be of any advantage to 
their side. The suspicion that the burial of the dead and 
the care of the wounded was not the real cause of the 
visit was strengthened by the inquisitiveness of some of 
the men, and the fact that one of them was discovered 
making notes of certain conversations when he thought 
he was not observed. 

Harry was the discoverer of this note-taking, and re- 
ported the circumstance to General Vandever. 

"If that's what they 're after," remarked the general, 
" we '11 give 'em all they want." 

So he had the visitors transferred from the tent where 
they were at the time, and placed in a room in one of the 
outbuildings not far away. There was another room in 
the same building, and the partition between the two was 


full of cracks, so that conversation could be heard with 
ease from one room to the other. 

The general instructed Harry as to what he was to do, 
and then he went with his adjutant and two or three 
other officers to the room adjoining the one where the 
truce-bearers were held. 

" Here we can talk without being disturbed," said the 
general. " My orderly knows where I am, and if I 'm 
wanted he '11 call me." 

Everything was perfectly still in the adjoining room, 
and it was evident that the men there were using their 
ears to the best advantage. 

"Now," said the general, " to begin with, I suppose you 
don't understand why we 're marching south and along 
the White river." 

There was a pause, and then he continued : 

" ^Ve 're not strong enough to go to Little Rock now," 
be said ; " but the thirty-five thousand men with ninety- 
two pieces of artillery that will join us in the next week 
will put us on the offensive, and then Little Rock must 
look out." 

" How are we going there ? " queried one of the officers. 

"General Curtis told me this morning that we should 
go across the country to within about thirty miles of 
Little Rock, or perhaps twenty miles, and there he should 
divide the force. Two-thirds of it will cross on pontoons, 
which are being brought along by the new army, and there 
will- be enough of them to lay three bridges over the river 
at once. While they oppose us at one place we '11 get 
over at another, and in three hours the entire force for 
that side will be safely landed. Then they '11 go to the 
rear of Little Rock and lay siege to it, while the other 
third of our strength will fire away at it from the other 
side of the river. There Avill be four batteries of heavy 
siege-guns playing on the town all at once, and they are 


bringing two thousand shells loaded with Greek fire to 
burn up eveiy house in the place if necessary. Twenty- 
four hours will be allowed for sending out women, children 
and other non-combatants, and then the battle will begin." 

" But won't they be likely to interrupt us on the way 
with General Rust's army and other troops they can 
get together ? " 

" They may try, but it '11 be bad for 'em," was the reply. 
"The government has sent us some of the new shells 
invented by a Yankee somewhere in Massachusetts, that 
have done wonderful work in Tirginia." 

"What are those ? I haven't heard of them." 

" Well, we 've been keeping it pretty quiet," was the 
reply, " as we don't want the rebels on this side of the 
Mississippi to find it out if we can help it. These new shells 
are loaded with a composition that spreads out w^hen it 
explodes, and kills everybody within twenty yards. It 's 
a secret composition, and the government pays fifty 
dollars for each shell the inventor delivers, and he guar- 
antees that if two of these shells are fired where there is 
a regiment, it will kill every man in it. They are not 
wounded at all, but just fall down as though struck by 
lightning. Here 's an account of what they '11 do." 

The general took a document from his pocket, and 
pretended to read a wonderful story of how the entire 
garrison of a rebel fort on the James river was killed by 
one of these new-fangled shells, which had been dropped 
into it from a mortar fully a mile away. He told his 
friends they must keep the matter secret, as it was known 
only to General Curtis and a few of his higher officers, 
and they were particularly desirous that the information 
should n't leak out. " There '11 be three hundred of those 
shells," said he, " and half of them will be enough to kill 
all the rebels in Arkansas." 

Then he went on with other wild yarns with the utmost 

278 The lost army. 

seriousness, and at length was interrupted by Harry, who 
dehvered some despatches just received by General Curtis 
from General Halleck and brought by a courier, who came 
through from Helena in disguise. They announced a 
great victory for the union army in Virginia, the innninent 
capture of Richmond, the surrender of a large part of 
Lee's army, together with other bits of information that 
would have been highly important if true. 

When it was thought that the eavesdroppers had been 
properly "loaded," as the general expressed it, the party 
retired, and the flag-of-truce bearers were left to ponder 
on what they had heard. In the afternoon the army 
moved forward to take up a new camp, and when the 
column was under wiiy — in fact after the greater part of 
it had marched off — the truce-paity was released and 
allowed to go back to its own camp. 

The seed was sown on good ground. There was great 
alarm through the rebel ranks at the new terrors in store 
for them, and in spite of all the vigilance of the com- 
manders, there were numerous desertions daily. The 
more intelligent among tiie officers had a suspicion that 
the eavesdroppers had been hoaxed, but they were power- 
less to stop the spreading of the reports, which grew in 
horror as they passed from mouth to mouth. The won- 
derful shells which could sweep off so many men " as 
though they had been struck by lightning " disturbed the 
dreams of many a soldier of Arkansas or Texas, and were 
not often out of his thoughts in his waking hours. 

Very soon after this event the rebels abandoned Des 
Arc, and concentrated in the capital or around it. Earth- 
works were thrown up to defend the city against the 
threatened attack, and so much attention was paid to 
Little Rock that all other parts of the state were practi- 
cally deserted. 

And those wonderful shells are yet resting in the brain 


of the man who invented them. Perhaps they will be 
developed in some future war. 

It is well to remark at this point that the trick which 
was played on the flag-of-truce bearers is by no means a 
new one, though it was new enough on that occasion. It 
was played several times by both sides during the war ; 
but its most successful performance was by Stonewall 
Jackson in one of his campaigns in the Shenandoah valley. 

Several captured union officers were under guard in a 
house in Winchester, and expected to be sent to Rich- 
mond and locked up in Libby prison. General Jackson 
had a council of war with his division commanders in a 
room adjoining the one where the officers were confined. 
He gave his orders with great exactness, told where each 
division was to march, and sent the commanders away 
one after another to get his force in readiness. They 
were to advance on the union position and give battle, 
and everything was prepared with the utmost care. 

Then he asked his adjutant-general when he had sent 
the prisoners to Richmond. 

" They have n't been sent off yet, General," was the 
reply. " But we '11 start them soon after daylight. Gen- 
eral Stuart said his cavalry must rest till then." 

"If they haven't gone now," said the general, "you'd 
better parole them and send them down the valley. Let 
them start immediately, so that they '11 be well out of the 
way before we begin our advance." 

With this the general went out and was soon followed 
by the adjutant. In fifteen minutes an officei" came to 
take their paroles, and they were escorted to the union 
lines by a flag-of-truce party. As they passed through 
the town they saw that preparations were going on for a 
movement, and when they got within their own camp 
they of course told what they had heard. 

Of course their information was valuable, and prepara- 


tions were at once made to resist the advance. Hour after 
hour passed away waitmg for Stonewall Jackson, but he 
did n't come. All those hours he was marching the other 
way as fast as possible, and executing one of those move- 
ments for which he was famous. He suddenly appeared 
at a point where he was least expected, and then it was 
realized that his talk in hearing of the prisoners was all a 

For the rest of the way to Clarendon General Curtis 
met with no opposition other than that caused by trees 
felled across the road. It had been reported that a gun- 
boat and two transports with supplies had reached Claren- 
don and were waiting for him, and he was very desirous 
of finding them. The rumor passed along the lines that 
transports and supplies were at hand, and so the soldiers 
pushed vigorously on to that point. 

They reached Clarendon on the afternoon of the ninth 
of July, and were bitterly disappointed. The gun-boat 
and transports had been there and waited a while, but as 
they could get no tidings of the whereabouts of General 
Curtis, and the rebels were said to be mustering in force 
for their capture, it was considered prudent to retire. 
The transports had been gone about twenty hours when 
the advance of the column arrived, and with them the 
supplies that had been so anxiously desired. Truly the 
army seemed to have been deserted in the wilderness. 

From all that could he learned there was no enemy 
between Clarendon and the Mississippi, the nearest point 
of which was about sixty miles away. There might be a 
few straggling bands of bushwackers, but nothing that 
could make any serious opposition. But sixty miles is a 
long distance in a strange country, and when provisions 
are running short. 

The inhabitants of Clarendon were much like those of 
Bates ville and Jacksonport, thoroughly secession in their 

The lost armt. 281 

sympathies, and wondering when the war would end, so 
that they might get their cotton to market. They had 
very little to sell in the way of provisions, as they had 
been pretty well cleaned out by their own government; 
hut the usual foraging, in which Harry and Jack took a 
prominent part, served to bring many things edible to 

Most of the able-bodied men were away at the war, 
leaving behind only the aged and the boys who were too 
young for service. Among those who remained was a 
lawyer, a dignified and red-nosed citizen of some sixty or 
more years, who demanded audience with General Curtis, 
in order to prove to him that he had no constitutional 
right to invade the State of Arkansas ! 

282 i'^-E LOBT ARMY, 




On the night of the ninth, Harry and Jack had an ad- 
venture of a new sort, which happily turned out to be 

The greater part of tlie baggage-wagons failed to come 
up until late in the evening, and it became necessary for 
the soldiers to bivouac without shelter, as the little town 
was not equal to their accommodation. Our young friends 
picketed their horses, having first cut a quantity of green 
oats from a field near by, with which they fed the faithful 

Then they took two or three bundles of the oats to lie 
upon and flattered themselves that they would make a 
comfortable bed, or one which would certainly be an im- 
provement upon the bare ground. With a thin layer on 
the ground and a good-sized bundle for their pillows, they 
went to sleep in very short order. 

They were sleeping soundly, and possibly dreaming of 
home and friends, when they were suddenly and rudely 
awakened. The night was dark and their first thought 
was that they had been surprised by the enemy. 

There was a long and very dark form standing over 
Harry and another over Jack, and each of the assailants 
seemed to be looking for the throat of his victim. 

Harry gave his disturber a heavy blow with his fist, 
which sent him reeling over upon the soldier who was 


lying close by and snoring loudly. The snoring stopped 
at once, as the fall of the heavy body waked the soldier, 
who sprang to his feet and reached for his gun. He had 
the impulse to shoot, but did not know in what direction 
to fire. 

Jack grappled with his enemy, and there was a struggle 
which may be said to have resulted in victory for both. 
Jack did not succeed in holding down his assailant, as 
the latter slipped through his grasp and made his escape. 
But the youth saved his life and was not, in fact, injured 
further than a few slight contusions and abrasions. 

Another soldier who had been awakened drew his 
bayonet, and as one of the attacking force rushed past 
him the man gave a well-directed prod with the weapon, 
which stretched the intruder on the ground. It also 
roused a deafening squeal, that indicated the character 
of the creators of the disturbance. 

It seems that a drove of half-wild pigs had come out of 
the forest, on the lookout for something to eat. In the 
southern states pigs generally run at large, being called 
up occasionally by means of a horn, to be fed and selected 
for slaughter or other purposes. As they are always fed 
when summoned by the horn, they soon learn to come to 
its call ; but sometimes, when the summonses are infre- 
quent, they grow so wild that they do not heed the sound. 
Then they have to be chased up, and the work of driving 
them in is no small affair. 

Very often they remain in the woods during the day 
and come around at night to the neighborhood of the 
dwellings in search of food. The southern pigs are like 
those of any other part of the country, or of the world, 
for that matter, as they are gifted with free appetites 
and are not over particular about their food as long as it 
is something edible. 

In their nocturnal ramble this drove under considera- 

^84 th:e lost army. 

tion had come upon the sleeping-place of our young friends. 
Having scented the oats which the boys had taken to 
sleep upon, the animals rushed in without ceremony and 
proceeded to devour the succulent grain without asking 
permission of those who were then in possession. The 
assault of two of the pigs upon the bundles which formed 
the pillows of Harry and Jack gave the impression that 
the marauders were seeking to reach the throats of their 
victims, and their forms in the darkness were not unlike 
those of men stooping forward to attack the slumberers. 
Two of the pigs paid for the assault with their lives, and 
formed a material addition to the bill of fare of the men 
whose slumbers they had broken. There was little sleep 
in the group for the rest of the night, their hearty laughter 
over the incident, and speculations as to whether the rest 
of the pigs would come back, having effectually driven 
sleep from their eyelids. 

The presence of the pigs having been discovered, a horn 
was blown the next morning and turned to good advan- 
tage. Pigs to the number of a hundred or more came 
trooping out of the forest, and were enticed into a yard 
which had been hastily constructed by some of the 
soldiers. When they ceased coming the yard was closed, 
and the soldiers said afterwards that pork roasted over a 
campfire formed an excellent substitute for other articles 
of food when the others could n't be had. 

The rumor of the granting of free- papers to the negroes 
who had been working on the fortifications or helped to 
fell timber to obstruct the march of the army was rapidly 
spread about Clarendon, and in a few hours the colored 
population for miles around seemed to have gathered 
there. All declared they had been doing the forbidden 
work, and all, as far as it was possible to grant them in 
tlie limited time, received their papers. 

" If we had only known it," said Harry to Jack, when 


they learned the state of affairs, " you and I would have 
tried to get through to bring news to the fleet, and we 
would have got through somehow. We might have 
taken a skiff and paddled down in the night, and we 
would have rigged it up like a log, so that it would have 
required very sharp eyes to discover that it was anything 
else than an ordinary log drifting with the current. But 
there 's no use crying over spilt milk, as the old saw has 
it, and so we need n't waste the time over planning for 
past performances. But I 'd have given a good deal to 
have known of this in time." 

Jack agreed with him, and after a very brief talk on 
the subject they turned their attention to other matters. 

There was no alternative for the army but to make the 
best of its way to Helena, on the Mississippi, sixty or sixty- 
five miles away. The tenth of July was spent at Claren- 
don, and at four o'clock on the morning of the eleventh 
General Washburne, with two thousand five hundred 
cavalry and six mountain hov/itzers, started on a forced 
march for the banks of the great river. They followed 
the old military road between Little Rock and Helena. 
It proved to be a very good road, though there were 
several bad places at the crossings of small streams. 
With a few exceptions, and those doing no harm, not a 
shot was fired at them along the whole of the route, all 
the forces of the enemy having been withdrawn to the 
defense of the White river or to points further back in 
the interior of the state. 

Harry and Jack were allowed to accompany General 
Washburne's advance, as it was thought they might be 
useful in case there was any scouting to be done or any 
foraging for provisions, but as the march was a forced one 
there was no time for anything of the sort, and they had 
nothing to do but stick to the column and keep their 
horses in the road. 


About nine o'clock in the forenoon of the twelfth the 
foremost of the soldiers rose in their stirrups and gave a 
loud cheer, which was speedily carried along the whole 
line. Cheer upon cheer followed, no one being told the 
cause, but everybody realizing that the end of the long 
march was near. The spires of the churches of Helena 
were soon afterward in full view, and beyond them 
gleamed the waters of the Mississippi, reflecting the rays 
of the summer sun. 

Harry and Jack were among the loudest of the cheerers, 
as they realized that, for the present, at any rate, their 
wanderings in the wilds of Arkansas were at an end. 
They were weary with the almost unbroken ride of twenty- 
eight hours, covered with the dust that rose in clouds 
from the dry road, and suffering the pangs of hunger and 
thirst, but no worse in that respect than all those about 
them. But with all their weariness and hunger, and 
through all the dust that covered them, their hearts 
swelled with joy, and they shouted themselves hoarse over 
the sight of the great river of the West. 

But now came a new difficulty. Helena had not been 
occupied by union troops, and there was no one there to 
welcome them. The gun-boat fleet had called there and 
agreed with the local authorities that the town should not 
be harmed as long as no outrages were perpetrated on 
passing steamboats. The agreement had been kept, and 
though several bands of bushwhackers had dropped in to 
see their friends, they had been restrained from making 
any attacks or otherwise disturbing the peace. The in- 
habitants were not particularly loyal toward the govern- 
ment, but they had heard the fate of several places where 
boats had been fired upon, and had sufficient influence to 
keep their bushwhacking friends quiet. 

As the advance of General Washburne's cavalry entered 
the town, several men, who had been loitering in front of 


one of the stores, made haste to mount their horses and 
get away. A few shots were fired at them, but no harm 
was done, and no attempt was made to pursue them. In 
a little while the whole force of cavalry had reached the 
river bank, and the Mississippi was scanned up and down 
to discover a steamboat. 

General Washburne hoped there would be a gun-boat 
with which he could communicate, but no gun-boat was 
in sight. Soon the smoke of a steamboat was seen below 
the town, around a bend of the river, and in due time she 
came in sight, slowly stemming the powerful current. It 
was an ordinary transport, quite incapable of defense, and 
the general quickly made up his mind to stop her by 
friendly means if he could, or by force if he must. 

As the steamer came in front of Helena flags were waved 
again and again, but the boat paid no attention to them. 
Then a shot was fired across her bows to warn her to stop, 
but this had no effect ; another shot followed, and then 
another, aimed like the first, so as not to harm the boat, 
but to make those on board believe that something serious 
would happen soon unless she came to a halt. Seeing 
there was no escape from the supposed rebels, the pilot 
headed the boat for the bank and ran in, A dozen or more 
soldiers were on her deck with their guns ready for busi- 
ness, but they soon perceived that resistance to such a 
force would be useless. They prepared to surrender and 
make the best of their misfortune. But before the gang- 
plank had been run out one of the shrewdest of them 
observed that the formidable force was habited in the union 
uniform, though it was so sadly covered with dust that it 
could easily be mistaken for the confederate gray. 

An ofiicer who was among the passengers brought a 
field-glass to bear on the party on the bank. He was an 
old friend of Captain Winslow, the quartermaster of Gen- 
eral Curtis's army, and was not long in making him out, 


in spite of the dust that covered him and his generally be- 
draggled appearance after his long ride. Holding aside 
his glass, he shouted : 

" Is Captain Winslow there ?" 

" Here I am," was the reply, " and here are the rest of 

" All right, pilot," said the officer ; " you 're safe enough 
now. You 're captured by our friends." 

In a few minutes the boat had been made fast to the 
shore, and General Washburne came onboard accompanied 
by Captahi Winslow, Captain Noble, of General Curtis's 
staff, and several other officers. There was a recognition 
of old friends and introductions all around. The new ar- 
rivals were treated to the best the steamer afforded, and 
the officer who had charge of the boat asked what they 
could do for the weary and dusty crowd. 

" Give us whatever provisions you can spare," said Gen- 
eral Washburne, " and then hurry up to Memphis as fast 
as you can with Captains Winslow and Noble. They '11 
get supplies for us and have them shipped down here to 
meet the army by the time it arrives." 

The boat was not well provided with stores, as she had 
no occasion for anything beyond sufficient to feed her com- 
pany to Memphis, but whatever she had was quickly rolled 
on the bank and handed over to the quartermaster of the 
division. When this had been done she immediately 
steamed away for Memphis, ninety miles up the river. 
She was obliged to lie at anchor during the night, owing 
to a dense fog, and did not reach Memphis until the fol- 
lowing forenoon. 

Supplies were immediately shipped to Helena, and by 
the morning of the fourteenth they were piled on the bank 
— a welcome sight to the soldiers, that marched in as 
closely behind the cavalry as it was possible for infantry 
to follow. The march from Clarendon was accomplished 

The Dumb Witness. 

Page 256. 


in little more than two days, and not a wagon was lost or 
left behind. By the evening of the thirteenth all the di- 
visions had arrived, and anxiously waited the provisions 
which came to them on the following morning. Hundreds 
of hands were ready to assist in the landing, and rarely 
has a steamboat discharged her cargo with greater celerity. 
The column was followed by a great number of negroes, 
who feared the treatment they would receive from their 
masters after the departure of the union forces from Clar- 
endon. At one time it was remarked that there were more 
negroes than white men in Helena, and the support of the 
colored population became a matter of serious consequence. 
The difficulty was partially solved a few months later, 
when it was decided to enlist negroes as soldiers, and sev- 
eral regiments of them were formed for infantry and cav- 
alry service. Thousands of able-bodied citizens of African 
descent were enrolled in the army, and though they had 
their defects they did credit to themselves, besides ex- 
asperating the rebels to an unwonted degree. Many of 
the rebel officers subsequently declared that their greatest 
mistake was that they did not arm their negroes early in 
the war, and promise to give them their freedom at the 




Our story draws to a close. We have brought Harry 
and Jack to the banks of the great river, and there we will 
leave them. The army of General Curtis had terminated 
a most arduous campaign. Since leaving Rolla in Feb- 
ruary, six months before, it had marched more than six 
hundred miles, much of the way through a thinly-settled 
and inhospitable region, with bad roads, unbridged 
streams, and all the difficulties of locomotion in a new 
country. It had fought several minor engagements and 
skirmishes, and engaged in a battle of three days' duration 
— that of Pea Ridge, out of which it emerged victorious 
after combating with a force three times as great as its 
own. It had performed some of the best marching on 
record, and its men were ready to go through another 
campaign of the same sort, only asking for a brief rest and 
for sufficient good food to restore their accustomed 
strength. And the reader may be sure that nothing was 
kept from them that was within the power of the quarter- 
masters to give, and the camps in and aroun.d Helena 
were a scene of feasting and rejoicing, such as that quiet 
town on the Mississippi had never before known. 

Harry and Jack were quite as ready as any one else for 
a good rest, and did not hang back when there was 
a prospect of something nice to eat. As they strolled 
through the streets and along the levee of Helena they 


built many castles in the air, and pondered upon what 
they had been through since they left their homes a 
twelve-month before. 

" Wonder how many miles we 've traveled ? " said 
Harry. " I leave out of the calculation the railway and 
steamboat traveling, and only include horseback riding 
and on foot." 

" I don't know, I 'm sure," replied Jack. " Let 's figure 
it up as best we can, and see how it comes out." 

They proceeded to figure it, but frankly acknowledged 
that the job was a difficult one, on account of their nu- 
merous scouting expeditions, many of which they could n't 
remember at the moment. Altogether they thought it 
must have been not far from a thousand miles up to the 
time they made their last departure from Rolla. The 
army, as we have seen, had marched six hundred miles 
from Rolla to Helena, and as the boys had made many 
scouting and other expeditions around Pea Ridge, Forsyth 
and Batesville, they thought it not unfair to add four 
hundred miles to the total of the army's movements, 
making two thousand miles altogether. 

"Just think of it ! " exclaimed Jack. " Two thousand 
miles ! Why, that 's two-thirds the distance, about, from 
New York to San Francisco. It 's a big lot of traveling, 
especially when it 's been done on the quarter-deck of a 
horse, and sometimes under very hard circumstances. 
We 've been many times in peril of our lives, passed 
through a great many privations, been cold and wet and 
hungry, but for all that, here we are as healthy as a 
couple of young tigers, ready for the next adventure that 
turns up." 

" Yes, that 's so," replied Harry ; " and I suppose you 
don't want to go home just now, do you?" 

" Not I," was the ready response ; " but we '11 see what 
our folks say about it, and also what the general says." 


"We haven't had any letters for a long time," said 
Harry, " and furthermore we have n't sent any, for 
the very simple reason that the mails could n't get 
either to oi' from us. We 've been buried in the 
wilderness as much as though we had been in the middle 
of Africa." 

" Yes," replied Jack ; " and that reminds me of something 
I heard General Vandever saying this morning. He had a 
newspaper which somebody brought down on a steamboat 
from Memphis, and I heard him telling General Wash- 
burne that the newspapers were full of articles about us, 
and there was a great deal of anxiety concerning General 
Curtis and his army." 

" Then he laughed," continued Jack, " and said they 
were speaking of us as ' The Lost Army.' Nothing had 
been heard from us for such a long time that they were 
afraid we 'd been lost and could n't get back again, or 
perhaps the rebs had killed or captured us all." 

" Well, we have n't been lost very much," said Harry, 
with what may be called an audible smile. " We 've 
always known where we were, and whenever the enemy 
attacked us he had reason to know that we knew. But, 
I say. Jack, that gives me an idea." 

"What is that?" 

" Why, if we ever write a story of our campaigns that 
'11 be a good name for it. We '11 call it ' The Lost Army,' 
and it '11 be a first-rate title." 

" That 's so," Jack answered, " and it will be quite as 
truthful as many titles of books I 've seen. Very often 
when you read a book there 's very little in the pages of 
the volume that seem to have been suggested by what 
you find on the title-page." 

" Just so," said Harry, " and a man will have to read 
clear through to the last chapter before he finds out what 
The Lost Army was. And when he does find out he '11 agree 


with us that we have n't been going round getting lost 
very much." 

We had the permission of the youths to give the account 
of their experiences in the southwest, and have taken it, ■ 
title and all. This is why our story has been called as 
the reader has seen. 

Helena continued to be a permanent military post from 
that time onward, but the rebels did not attempt to dis- 
turb it, for the double reason that their force of troops on 
the west of the Mississippi was small, and no good could 
come from a raid on the town when they would not be able to 
hold it more than a few hours, only until gun-boats could 
arrive to drive them away. General Curtis was ordered to 
St. Louis to take command of the Department of the Mis- 
souri, and operate against the rebels that were making 
things somewhat lively in the neighborhood of Springfield 
and Fayetteville. A portion of the troops that had composed 
The Lost Army remained at Helena, but the greater part 
were ordered to join the corps that made the second attack 
on Vicksburg and ultimately succeeded in reducing that 
important stronghold of the rebellion. 

Two or three weeks after the arrival of General Curtis 
at Helena word was received of a party of rebels some 
twelve or fifteen miles away in a northerly direction. Two 
companies of the Third Wisconsin Cavalry went to look 
for the enemy, and were accompanied by our young 
friends. They found the enemy, and very unexpectedly 
too, for they ran into an ambuscade ; but happily the aim 
of the rebel rifles was so bad that only two or three men 
were injured. Then the unionists " went in," and thrashed 
the rebels, compelling them to retreat after the loss of 
several of their number. Harry and Jack had each a 
prisoner to his credit, though it is proper to say that they 
were not captured in fair fighting. The way of it was 
this : 


After the fighting was over the youths dismounted to 
look over the ground and pick up anything that miglit be 
of value or would indicate to what company or regiment, 
if any, the men they had been engaged with belonged. 
They had done this on several occasions to advantage, and 
in the latter part of their campaigning it was a rule to 
which they adhered whenever circumstances permitted. 

While they were inspecting the scene of the skirmish, 
Harry came to a large tree which proved on examination 
to be hollow. He remarked to Jack that it was a good 
place for a man to hide in, to which Jack replied that it 
would hold half a dozen or more if they did n't mind a 
little crowding. 

" Who knows but that some of those fellows hid there 
when they found we were getting the best of 'em," said 
Harry. " Suppose we investigate that tree." 

Jack agreed to it, and they approached the tree, cocked 
their pistols and pointed them up the hollow into the 

" Come down out of that," said Harry, in a commanding 
tone, " or we '11 shoot daylight into you." 

There was no response, and Harry was about to turn 
away when Jack, more in fun than with any expectation 
of finding anybody, called out : 

" Come down, I say. You '11 have just five seconds to 
come in." 

"I 'm a-coming," said a weak voice from the darkness, 
much to the surprise of the boys, and a moment later 
down slipped a forlorn looking " Butternut," who was 
evidently greatly frightened. 

" Surrender ! " shouted Harry, " and tell the rest of 
'em to come right away." 

" There 's only one more feller there," said the prisoner, 
who surrendered by throwing his hands in the air and 
dropping his shotgun on the ground. The summons 


was renewed, and down came the " one more feller " and 
surrendered after the same fashion ; and this was the way 
their prisoners were taken. 

'• Not quite as meritorious a performance as captur- 
ing them in open fighting," said Harry ; " but then it 's 
like hooking a fish in the side instead of catching him 
in the regular way by the mouth — he counts just the 

During their stay at Helena Harry and Jack made 
themselves useful in looking after the negroes that flocked 
there for protection, and they were sometimes derisively 
mentioned by their comrades as managers of the Freed- 
men's Bureau. But they took the satire good-naturedly 
and went on with their work, which consisted of aiding 
in the distribution of rations, making lists of the negroes 
as fast as they came in, assigning them to different parts 
of the camp, helping them to their free-papers, drafting 
out all who were able to work, and sending them to the 
levee to aid in unloading steamboats, or into the forests 
in the neighborhood of Helena, where they were employed 
to cut wood. At every opportunity they endeavored to 
instill into the negro-mind the idea that freedom did n't 
mean idleness, and insisted that the best way of making 
this fact understood was to put the negro at work, even 
if work had to be manufactured for him. 

Consequently when there was nothing else to be done, 
Harry would take the negroes who were under his orders 
and set them to throwing up a fortification around the 
camp. When it was completed he pretended to wish to 
change something about it, and thus the earth of which it 
was composed was handled over several times in succession. 

The last we saw of our young friends in the camp at 
Helena they were looking on and listening one Sunday 
evening when the negroes were having a religious meet- 
ing. Several negro preachers harangued the assemblage in 


their quaint and forcible way. Prayers were offered, and 
tliree or four hymns were sung with great fervor, all the 
congregation joining, and fairly making the woods ring 
with their voices.